CHICAGO (CBS) — The Emanuel administration’s top technology guru is leaving City Hall in a week, but it’s an amicable separation.
WBBM Newsradio’s Craig Dellimore reports Chief Technology Officer John Tolva – the first person to hold that position at City Hall – is stepping down Nov. 1, after 2 ½ years on the job, and on very good terms.
“Mayor Emanuel and I sort of had an agreement that it would be about a two-year thing. In fact, that if the structural changes weren’t made in two years, we were doing something wrong,” he said.
Tolva has made the city more sure-footed on technology, and he said Chicago has become more attractive to high-tech firms.
“The mayor doesn’t just want to use technology to optimize how we move our garbage trucks around, he wants the city of Chicago to be the place [where] technology firms want to innovate,” he said.
While the public knows about accomplishments like setting up new Wi-Fi service at parks and beaches, Tolva said bigger things are afoot.
“There will be announcements coming up about the wireline connectivity; basically … gigabit fiber connectivity; new options in commercial corridors,” he said.
Tolva was referring to efforts to make affordable broadband Internet service available to Chicacgo residents, and setting up super high-speed network access for businesses in several commercial districts.