City of Tucson Recruits Washington State IT Deputy

Washington state's deputy information technology director, Todd Sander, has been hired by the city of Tucson, Ariz., as its IT director.

Sander said he will work on increasing the economic and political role of technology in the city. "Tucson is at the point at which it is ready to use IT at the next level to make it more a part of the process of government rather than a tool used in the back room. And that is really what we have done here in Washington state," said Sander.

Sander said Tucson city manager Luis Gutierrez, who bears the same name as Massachusetts's chief information officer, also wants to change the city's custom of playing "perennial bridesmaid" to high-tech companies. "Many technology companies looking to relocate have looked at Tucson, but the city has rarely been selected. It has instead lost out to places like Albuquerque and Austin," said Sander. "Tucson is always a finalist but it has never been able to attract high-tech industry the way it wants to."

Though Sander said he will be called upon to jump-start technology initiatives in areas such as electronic commerce, his most pressing job will be to provide more technology coordination to city leaders. "I'll be helping the city council and mayor determine what technology can do in attracting business to Tucson and what role it can play in government."

Sander starts his new job on Sept. 14. His replacement in Washington state has not been identified.

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