When he started at the City of Boerne in 2008, there were no smartphones or Wi-Fi, email phishing wasn’t a major concern, and the police cruisers still transmitted data at a snail’s pace over the radio.
“My first work phone was Palm Treo,” Information Technology Assistant Director Sheldon Cravey said.
He was the lone IT technician working alongside IT Director Mike Raute. Together, the two oversaw all the City’s technology needs – Raute handling tech at City Hall and Cravey at all the outside departments.
Now, Cravey and the Information Technology department’s six-person team oversee a network of 265 smartphones and tablets, 319 computers and laptops, and 92 servers. Much more than computer and printer repairs, IT is responsible for several systems including VoIP phone solutions, physical and digital security, physical access, HVAC troubleshooting, wired and wireless networking internal and externally, A/V equipment, managing and maintaining mobile phones and tablets, and advanced metering infrastructure support.
“What I like about IT is there are always new and better ways of doing things,” Cravey said. “The mix of unexpected technological challenges creates a camaraderie among fellow employees as we work toward common goals to benefit the citizens.”
The biggest challenge in IT, Cravey says, is keeping up with the anticipated technology needs and wants of citizens and employees.
“It’s difficult to budget for something that doesn’t exist yet, or something we don’t know we need yet,” he said.
To keep ahead of emerging technologies, IT sets aside time during the week for employees’ continuing education. Technicians are encouraged to dig into new tech and work toward earning certifications to better serve Boerne and its residents while growing their career.
Of the City of Boerne’s five core values – Service, Excellence, Integrity, Respect, Collaboration – Cravey says he identifies most with collaboration.
“There isn’t a department at the City I haven’t worked with on a major project,” Cravey said. “We work hard to ensure all the technological needs of City employees are met so they can perform their duties as necessary.”
A dedicated public servant, Cravey places a high value on fiscal responsibility without neglecting the public’s need for IT infrastructure. As such, he and the department have prioritized upgrades to City-operated public Wi-Fi around town in the coming year.
Cravey is a Certified Government Chief Information Officer (CGCIO) and holds an associate degree in IT support and a bachelor’s degree in business management. At the City of Boerne, he has worked his way up from IT tech I and II, to network administrator, and now assistant IT director. Before joining the City, Cravey was a signal systems support specialist in the Army. Altogether, he has more than 23 years of experience in information technology.
Cravey’s ancestors were among the founding families for Boerne. Raised in San Angelo, he spent most weekends and summers in Boerne working to cut, rake, and bale hay, cut firewood, sheer sheep, ride horses, and work cattle. He and his family have called the area home for the last 19 years.
This profile is part of a series showcasing members of City staff who provide exemplary service. We want to spotlight their hard work and share behind-the-scenes things you might not know.