Newtown Township

Technology Committee

Minutes of the meeting of June 24, 2008

The Newtown Township Technology Committee met on June 24, 2008 in the lower level meeting room. In attendance were: Chairman Edward Lipski, Vice Chairman James Bowe and members John Davis, Michael Horan and Harry Stevens. Also in attendance were Supervisors Michael Gallagher and Jerry Schenkman.

Call to Order

Mr. Lipski called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM.

Approval of Minutes

Mr. Davis moved to approve the minutes of May 27, 2008. Mr. Bowe seconded and the motion passed 4-0-1, with Mr. Horan abstaining.

Goals and Objectives

Mr. Lipski suggested that the members create an outline of the goals and objectives. As discussion progressed, he placed the items discussed on an overhead projector. The members then discussed prioritizing these items, and volunteered to take on tasks in preparation for next meeting.

  1. Document what the township has
    1. Existing HW existing SW, Network infrastructure – Alan Herr
    2. Identify department business needs that technology can address
      • Mr. Stevens will create questionnaire for committee and for Township employees
      • At a later date committee will meet with Township Department heads
      • Chairman and others should ask Township Manager to allow committee members to attend staff meeting
        1. Mr. Lipski will email Township Manager to be added to upcoming agenda
        2. Messrs. Davis, Lipski and Schenkman volunteer to attend meeting on behalf of Committee
    3. Business processes
      • Document staff roles/organizational chart
      • Skills development plan for employees
    4. Township’s policy on Retention of Documents
      • Identify sensitive data and determine security requirements
        1. Laptops have an encrypted HD?
          • Mr. Lipski will email Mr. Herr about Laptop security.
        2. Mr. Lipski will research document retention standards and email Township Manager for the status of our document retention policy
    5. Create business plan – long term goal, temporarily tabled
    6. Identify best practices
      • Newtown compared to other municipalities
        1. Mr. Schenkman will discuss existing IT plans with representatives of other municipalities at upcoming League of Cities meeting
        2. Mike Horan will compare municipal websites
      • How do we measure – what are the metrics?
  2. Address any technology compliance issues the township has
    1. Police, fire, public safety
      • Mr. Schenkman will discuss state plans at League of Cities meeting
      • Mr. Horan and Lipski will schedule a meeting with Jean Tanner of the Township’s Police Department to discuss public safety technology issues.
  3. Other Priorities
    1. Greater accessibility by Township residents
      • Enter permits and applications online
      • Pay taxes, fees, fines, etc online
      • Navigate Township and Jointure Ordinances
      • Search contents of website
      • Search meeting minutes
      • Greater access to Zoning Board, Planning Commission and other minutes
      • Capture the knowledge and experience of committee members, supervisors and employees.
      • Investigate possible new or enhanced revenue stream for Township
        1. Park and Recreation moving toward on-line promotion and registration
        2. Regionalization funding
      • Cost savings
      • New infrastructure requirements with new municipal building
        1. Building secure?
          • Mr. Lipski will contact Township Manager about computer room security

During the formulation of the outline, the members discussed each item. Mr. Horan suggested speaking to departments within the Township to learn what uses could be made of technology. He suggested investigating using the Web site to apply for permits or to pay taxes.

Mr. Bowe said that he has been working with Park and Recreation to try to make applications for programs and children’s summer camps available on line. Registration on line is still being investigated.

Mr. Lipski said that he and Mr. Gallagher had attended a conference in Harrisburg on technology in government recently. At one session they learned a number of things other municipalities are doing, including e-graffiti, which is a method of reporting complaints such as potholes and burned out street lights. There was also a session on document retention and security.

Mr. Stevens suggested investigating ways to create or enhance revenue streams with technology.

The members agreed to address all of the concerns and issues outlined under item 1, documenting the existing technology and uses of technology first.

Mr. Davis moved to adjourn at 9:30 PM. Mr. Stevens seconded and the motion passed 5-0.


Respectfully Submitted:


Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary