King County names first CIO

King County, Wash.

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"Talk of the town"

Dave Martinez is slated to become the first chief information officer in

King County, Wash. County officials said the naming of a dedicated information

technology chief brings accountability and visibility to IT functions.

County Executive Ron Sims selected Martinez last week to fill the position

created by the county in December.

As CIO, Martinez will coordinate IT policy-making, strategic planning,

standardization, budgeting and purchasing.

Martinez is a known quantity in King County, which has a population

of 1.7 million and is the 11th-largest county in the nation. He headed the

county's Department of Information and Administrative Services for an 11-month

period from 1998 to 1999, during which he was credited with streamlining

operations and saving $1.4 million.

Martinez has worked as a consultant for Sims since June, after a short

stint with Nextlink Communications Inc. As a consultant, Martinez helped

the county evaluate problems implementing new enterprise resource planning

solutions for financial management, payroll and human resources systems.

"I can think of no one better suited to help the county relate technology

initiatives to our business goals, such as e-commerce, financial systems

coordination, government institutional network upgrades and informational

offerings over the Internet," Sims said in a release.

Martinez said he is looking for a replacement to fill the consulting

role before completing the transition to his new position by mid-February.

County officials are still debating whether Martinez's appointment requires

approval by the council, according to Sims' spokeswoman, Elaine Kraft. The

council will decide jurisdiction over the new position this week, but Kraft

expressed confidence that Martinez would sail through the approval process

should it be necessary.

Prior to working for King County and Nextlink, Martinez was the director

of wireless engineering and operation for AT&T Wireless Services Inc.

He also spent 15 years at Digital Equipment Corp., and was the manager of

technology services for King County Metro Transit.

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