Solway picked as IS director
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 12:00 AM
MARINETTE — A seasoned local law enforcement officer with an extensive background in information technology soon is likely to become Marinette County’s Information Services Director.
The Finance Committee voted Monday to recommend to the full county board that Kevin J. Solway assume that post beginning July 30.
If his appointment is approved by the board next Tuesday, Solway will be the county’s third new department head named in the past few months.
Supervisors confirmed the appointment of James Swanson as facilities director in June and Tracy Tilot as child support director in May.
Solway will replace Larry Schultz, who resigned, according to Supervisor Vilas Schroeder, county board and finance committee chairperson.
From 2005 to now he has been a deputy and sergeant for the Marinette County Sheriff’s Department, with a dual role in helping the department deal with its computer and IT issues.
He worked from 1998 to 2005 as senior information technology manager for SunGard Public Sector in Lake Mary, Fla.
From 1983 to 1996, he was a lieutenant with the Marinette Police Department and eventually became Information Systems Manger for the City of Marinette and its police and fire departments.
He also has an extensive educational background in information technology, criminal justice and emergency medical services at Seminole State College in Lake Mary, Fla., UW-Madison and NWTC-Green Bay.
Solway also has earned professional designations in the IT field from several corporations including IBM, Cisco and Microsoft.
“I think the county is very fortunate,” said Corporation Counsel Gale Mattison, a member of the county’s three-person interim administrative team. “As you people know the day that Larry left, we had to lock down the IT system and do access and password things.
“Your three administrators all admit that’s not our thing. We don’t do IT services and I didn’t know what to do.”
Mattison said she contacted another corporation counsel and was told to ask the sheriff “who his No. 1 person would be that would be able to do something like this.”
“We asked the sheriff, who is your best person and could we use somebody for an hour?” she explained. “He said Kevin Solway (could help us).
“I didn’t know he had a dual background. The sheriff very generously gave him to us for the duration of what we needed to lock down our system.”
Mattison said she found out that Solway has been summoned often to help the county deal with IT issues.
She pointed out his time with SunGard, which Marinette County contracts with.
“Obviously he has a lot of management skills, a great education background, good experience and has dealt with budget issues,” Mattison said. “So we said this is the perfect person and we have him in-house.
“Unfortunately we had to tell the sheriff we wanted to steal his employee and he said he understood. I don’t know if he’s happy about it, but it’s really fortunate the county happens to have an employee with all this experience, ability and knowledge.”
She said Solway has “somewhat of a grip on our system.”
Supervisor Melissa Christiansen asked Mattison if Solway wants to shift from the sheriff’s department to Information Services.
“Yes he does,” answered Mattison. “He seems to be anxious about going to work for the county in this area.”
“I was impressed with his resume,” said Supervisor Don Pazynski. “I thought it was very organized and professional.”
“When I was on the city council in Marinette from 1994 to 2000, Kevin was not only an officer there, but a lieutenant in a management position,” recalled Sheriff Jerry Sauve. “Then prior to the end of my time with the city, he was actually recognized there as having the knowledge and abilities to be their IT director.
“So he left law enforcement to head the city’s information technology. Then he left for Florida to pursue even more responsibilities and more work in that area.”
Sauve admitted the departure of Solway will be a big loss for his department.
“He’s a fine officer and a very good sergeant,” said the sheriff. “It’ll be a void, but it’s not a total loss to us.
“The greater good is continuing to be served with his abilities and knowledge.”