NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP FINANCIAL PLANNING COMMITTEE
100 MUNICIPAL DRIVE, NEWTOWN, BUCKS COUNTY, PA 18940
Minutes for the meeting held on June 22, 2010
The Newtown Township Financial Planning Committee met on Tuesday, June 22, 2010 at the Newtown Township Administration Building.
Members present were Joe Barkley, Warren Dallas, Ryan Gallagher, Gaylord Swaby and Brian Wilson. Excused were Robert Dieterle and Jim McCrane.
Also present were Supervisors Jerry Schenkman, Matt Benchener and Mike Gallagher; Elaine Gibbs, Finance Director; John Boyle, Assistant Township Manager/Director of Technology/Director of Codes; Chief Henry Pasqualini; Residents Robert Daries and Ian Franklin.
CALL TO ORDER:
Mr. Gallagher called the meeting to order at 7:20 P.M.
MINUTES OF MAY 25, 2010:
The members reviewed the minutes from May 25, 2010.
Mr. Wilson moved to approve the minutes of May 25, 2010, as presented. The motion was seconded by Mr. Swaby and passed unanimously with one member abstaining (4-0-1).
2011 Department Capital Budget Presentations
Supervisor Benchener asked if the recommendation for how the Departments present their budget request has been implemented. Mr. Gallagher advised on an email he received from the Township Manager dated April 8, 2010. The Committee agreed that a template needs to be developed for the Departments to use when presenting their Capital Budget request.
Newtown Township Codes Department
Mr. Boyle reported that the Codes Department has no 2011 Capital request.
Newtown Township Technology Department
Mr. Boyle updated the Committee with regards to the Technology Department and their 2011 Capital request. The Committee discussed the memorandum received from Mr. Boyle dated June 22, 1010. Mr. Boyle advised that the Technology Committee is aware of the requests and on discussions with the Township’s Technology Consultant, Allan Herr, HPT Systems Inc.
Mr. Boyle advised on the request to purchase Management software for approximately $2,500.00. Mr. Boyle and Supervisor Gallagher explained the software and its benefits to the Township. The members discussed how the Township is currently managing/inventorying their software. Mrs. Gibbs reported that the software would be helpful to the Township and that the cost of the software is actually under the threshold of $5,000.00 for Capital Project request. The members discussed the possibility of ongoing cost for the software. Mr. Boyle advised that the software is not a necessity for the Township.
Mr. Boyle reported on the Township’s PC replacement policy for approximately $10,000.00. He advised that the policy is for the Township to replace 10 computers a year for approximately $1,000.00 each, the computers are purchased through a state bid and in 2010, the Department had zero dollars budgeted for capital purchases. The members discussed the Township’s operating system. Mr. Boyle advised that the request to replace the computers is a must have for the Township. Supervisor Gallagher reported that the Technology Committee would also recommend funding the replacement of the computers.
Mr. Boyle reported on the request for three (3) wireless access points in the Township Administration Building for approximately $2,500.00. The building is already wired and there is the possibility that only two (2) access points would needed. The members discussed how this would benefit the Township and what would be involved to go wireless. Mr. Boyle advised that this was a request from the Parks & Recreation Department and the Technology Committee and that going wireless is not a necessity for the Township. Supervisor Gallagher discussed the benefits of being wireless for Township meetings and reported that outsiders would not be able to access the Township’s network.
Mr. Barkley asked how all of the requests fit into the technology plan and suggested that there be a plan that looks into the future. Supervisor Gallagher agreed that Mr. Barkley has a good point on there needing to be a plan. Mr. Boyle advised that the Technology Committee was only recently formed and on their accomplishments. He suggested that they could help in the development of a plan.
Mr. Dallas asked if the items being requested by the Technology Department belong in their budget. Mr. Boyle reported that the request fall under the Technology Department’s budget.
Mr. Boyle reported on the request to update the Township’s software for approximately $10,000.00. The Committee discussed the Township’s software licenses. Supervisor Gallagher advised on free alternative software to Microsoft Office that the Township could use and on discussion with the Township’s Technology Consultant. The Committee discussed the need for the Township to get away from having to purchase software licenses. Supervisor Gallagher suggested that the Township get an inventory of software licenses and functionality of equipment. The members discussed who should inventory the licenses an employee or the consultant. Mr. Boyle and Supervisor Gallagher reported that it is very important to budget for this item even if the funds aren’t spent. The Committee agreed that more information is needed before a recommendation can be made.
Mr. Boyle reported on the request to update the DocSTAR system (document imaging system) for approximately $7,500.00. The current DocSTAR system is approximately six (6) years old and needs to be replaced; it has never been updated. He advised on how the Township uses the system and that the request to update the document imaging system is a must have for the Township. The Committee discussed looking into alternate brands. Supervisor Gallagher reported on discussion that the Technology Committee has had on the matter.
Mr. Boyle reported on the request to update the website for approximately $5,000.00 and that this request would be nice to have. The Committee discussed having the work done by an intern or volunteer. They also discussed the website and making it more user friendly.
Mr. Boyle reported on the request to purchase the Police Officer Scheduling System (POSS) for approximately $8,500.00. He advised that the Police Department has requested this item and it would be nice for the Township to have. Chief Pasqualini advised the members on the system and that he would rank it as mid-level in importance for the Department.
Mr. Boyle advised that he would research the answers to the Committee’s concerns, prioritize the Technology Department’s Capital Budget request for 2011 and update the members via email.
The Committee thanked Mr. Boyle for his time.
Newtown Township Police Department
Chief Pasqualini introduced himself to the Committee and updated the members with regards to the Police Department and their 2011 Capital request. The Committee discussed the memorandum received from Chief Pasqualini.
Chief Pasqualini advised on the federal government’s mandate that as of January 1, 2013 all radios must have a bandwidth of 12.5 kHz. The Department would need to purchase sixteen (16) mobile and thirty (30) portable units for approximately $250,000.00. He suggested that in 2011 the Township set aside $75,000.00 for the purchase of the radios. He reported that Congressman Murphy is lobby to get federal funding to help offset the cost and that in the past the County has funded the cost allowing the municipalities to make payments. He would rank as #5 in level of importance to the Department.
Chief Pasqualini reported on the request to purchase ten (10) video cameras for the patrol vehicles at an estimated cost of $53,000.00. The cameras would be purchased through the state bid process. He would rank as #4 in level of importance to the Department. The Committee discussed purchasing the equipment in phases and the availability of grant funding. Chief Pasqualini advised that he has looked into grants and there are none available. The Committee discussed how the cameras would benefit the Township.
Chief Pasqualini reported on the request to purchase five (5) rifles and mounting equipment for approximately $9,250.00. He discussed the need for the front line vehicles to be prepared. The rifles would be purchased through state bid. He would rank as #3 in level of importance to the Department.
Chief Pasqualini advised that this request is a priority for the Department. He reported on the Department’s vest program, the vest needing to be replaced every five (5) years and his request that approximately $4,602.00 be allotted to purchase vest in 2011. He would rank as #2 in level of importance to the Department.
Chief Pasqualini advised that this request is also a priority for the Department. He reported on the request to purchase three (3) Police vehicles for approximately $95,000.00. The proposed vehicles to be purchased are two (2) Crown Victorias and one (1) SUV. The vehicles are purchased through state bid. The Department has ten (10) front line cars that are rotated. He would rank as #1 in level of importance to the Department. He reported that retired vehicles are sold at auction.
The Committee thanked Chief Pasqualini for his time.
Update on Variance/Executive Summary Report
Mr. Barkley updated the members with regards to the Variance/Executive Summary Report. He provided the members with a draft report for their review. The Committee thanked Mr. Barkley for putting the report together. The Supervisors agreed that they like the information included in the report. The members discussed trend reporting and agreed that could be done with MuniCast. It was agreed that the next step would be for the Committee to contact Mr. Czajkowski and Mrs. Gibbs to discuss the Treasurer’s Report (excel based) with regards to programming the Variance/Executive Summary Report that would be generated monthly. Mr. Swaby and Mr. Barkley will work together to format the report on Mrs. Gibbs’ computer. Supervisor Benchener suggested that a column showing “Statistical Expectation” be added to the report. Supervisor Gallagher suggested that the report be sorted; having the larger discrepancies at the top.
Update on MuniCast
Mr. Gallagher apologized to Mr. Wilson for not including him in the email regarding the conference call scheduled for this evening. He updated the members on the discussion with the representative from MuniCast. The members discussed how to proceed with regards to implementing the system and who would load the data. A recommendation was made that the Finance Department should load the data. The members discussed the abilities of the software and getting a copy of the report to the members for their review. Mr. Gallagher advised that he would request Mrs. Gibbs to email the report to the members. The members agreed to discuss MuniCast further once they’ve had a chance to experiment with the report. Mr. Gallagher commented on the members being provided a copy of the MuniCast handbook.
Update on Budget Presentation Process
Mr. Gallagher updated the members with regards to developing a format for the Departments to use when making their Budget presentations. He discussed the memorandum that the Township Manager sent to the Department heads and suggested that be incorporated into the format. Mr. Wilson volunteered to develop the template.
PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR:
Supervisor Benchener reported that the Supervisors intend to vote on the Township’s Pension Investment Policy at the meeting on June 22, 2010.
Mr. Gallagher reported that he would be making a presentation to the Supervisors at the meeting on June 22, 2010. He requested the members to email him anything they would like discussed.
The members discussed the two vacant positions on the Committee.
The Recording Secretary provided the members with a copy of the Committee’s Mission Statement and Resolution No. 7 (Passed on January 28, 2009).
The members discussed the July meeting. The Recording Secretary reminded the members that she is looking for someone to cover the meeting, due to a prior engagement. Mr. Barkley advised that he would also not be at the July meeting.
There being no further business Mr. Barkley made a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded by Mr. Wilson and passed unanimously (5-0).
The meeting was duly adjourned at 10:23 P.M.The next meeting is scheduled for July 27, 2010 at 7:15 P.M.