Paul Sommer will serve as the new information technology director for the City of Ottawa. He has been serving as the interim director since March and previously was the city’s IT services manager.

Sommer has nearly 20 years of IT experience and has worked for the city since 2007.


“It is a privilege to work for the City of Ottawa and a great honor to be selected as the IT Director,” he said. “This would not have been possible without great coworkers and support from my family.”


Since he’s worked for the city, Sommer said he’s enjoyed being part of adding captions to the Government Access Channel, streaming study sessions and commission meetings using Facebook Live, the City Municipal Broadband Network and adding Wifi hotspots to City Park and Forest Park.


“I enjoy working for the City of Ottawa because, with the help of great coworkers, each day brings a new opportunity to make a positive impact on the local community,” he said.


Sommer grew up in Greeley and moved to Ottawa in 1998. He graduated from Anderson County High School in 1995 and attended classes at Johnson County Community College specializing in information systems technology. He’s a 2014 graduate of Leadership Franklin County and recently completed a three-year term on the board of trustees. He’s also a 2014 graduate of the City of Ottawa Leadership Academy and is a certified fiber optic specialist in testing and outside plant technician. Sommer and his wife, Laura, have two sons, Ben, 13, and James, 9.


“I am pleased that Paul has accepted this position,” City Manager Richard U. Nienstedt said. “He is a proven leader not only in his field but also within the City of Ottawa organization. I look forward to his leadership inside our organization and in the community of Ottawa.”

Sommer succeeds Chuck Bigham, who retired in March after 12 years with the city.