Chuck BighamOTTAWA, Kan. — Jan. 18, 2017 — After 12 years of service with the City of Ottawa, Information Technology Director Chuck Bigham is set to retire in March.

Bigham started as an independent contractor for the city in 2001 and transitioned to IT director in January 2005. He supported the city’s computer systems and helped build and enhance the Government Access Channel.

“Growing the department and technology utilization citywide, we were able to add personnel as required to support the many devices, social media and the Government Access Channel,” he said.

Bigham said launching the city’s fiber optic network in 2013 has been one of his biggest projects.“This brought very high speed broadband to the community — a big asset for growing and maintaining businesses,” he said.

City Manager Richard U. Nienstedt said Bigham has helped transition the city to where it is today.

“I appreciate Chuck’s willingness to advance technology and broadband,” he said. “I wish him and Jackie the best in retirement and have appreciated the opportunity to work with Chuck.”

Bigham earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Kansas. Before coming to Ottawa, he worked for businesses in Wichita, Houston, Austin and on the West Coast.

“Being involved with the city’s IT has been the best and most important job in my career,” he said. “I have enjoyed all of the people, the challenges and the variety of tasks. It has been a tremendous growth opportunity both, personally and with the technology adaptation in the city.”

Bigham’s last day will be March 31. In his retirement, he plans to work on projects at home, do garden and yard  work, possibly downsize and do some traveling.