Louisville has a new director of information technology who aims to push city agencies and infrastructure into the future.
Chris Seidt started in the role on Tuesday. He has worked for Metro Government’s IT department since 2008, and was most recently the civic technology manager. In that role, he worked on projects dealing with fiber internet and Smart City initiatives.
Now, Seidt heads up a department that serves 26 city agencies and 6,000 employees in 160 locations. Information technology handles everything from the louisvilleky.gov website to the computers workers use.
Seidt said he wants IT employees to see the way other agencies work up close, so they can figure out how to innovate.
“If we have one of our employees ride along with a snow plow driver, we might be able to optimize their routes through tools that we have or tools that we even develop,” Seidt said. Such changes could make work easier or more efficient.
He intends to release a plan for implementing Smart City upgrades — such as intelligent streetlights that react to activity in the area and intelligent traffic lights that react to congestion in real-time — in the first half of 2018. Seidt said he hopes to see that transformation take place by 2022.
Grace Simrall, Louisville’s chief of civic innovation, said Seidt is the right person to further Mayor Greg Fischer’s Smart City vision.
“The mayor, in terms of his strategic plan, has recognized that positioning the city for smart city work is critical to the success of the city,” Simrall said. “Chris’ experience in the civic technology space makes him the right leader for that.”
Simrall temporarily oversaw the IT department since September, when the previous IT director, Jason Ballard, resigned.
This story has been updated.