Minutes of the meeting of February 24, 2009
The Newtown Township Technology Committee met on February 24, 2009 in the lower level meeting room. In attendance and voting were members Robert Bowers, Edward Lipski and Richard Thompson. Also in attendance was Township Supervisor Mike Gallagher.
Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM.
Reorganization: Mr. Thompson nominated Mr. Lipski to serve as chairman. Mr. Bowers seconded and the motion passed 3-0.
Nomination of a vice-chairman was tabled until the March meeting.
Approval of Minutes: Mr. Lipski moved to accept the minutes of October 28,November 25, 2008 and the notes from the meeting of January 27, 2009. Mr. Thompson seconded and the motion passed 3-0.
Park and Recreation Project: Mr. Lipski reported that after speaking to Park and Recreation Director Kathy Pawlenko and attending the Park and Recreation Board meeting, he has developed a requirements document outlining the project to develop a new Web site for the Department. The Web site would contain information on the Township’s parks and playing fields, local sports organization contact information and most importantly, the program brochure. The goal is to allow the residents/participants to register for classes and programs on line. This will require some change to the data base, which is currently in access. The data base will have to track participant information and collect payments made by credit card. There will also be a need to track numbers of participants to determine when a class is full. Mr. Lipski said that he will still need to discuss with Mrs. Pawlenko which reports she will need to generate from the data base.
Mr. Lipski said that a decision will have to be made about hosting the Web site. He presented some preliminary information on two providers, one currently hosting Northampton’s and one hosting Warminster’s Park and Recreation Departments. He said that a decision will have to be made as to whether the Township wants to create and maintain its own site or use a third party provider.
Technology for New Municipal Building: Mr. Lipski said that he would like to invite XO Communications to the next meeting to discuss this. The Board of Supervisors has indicated it would like input from this committee on certain technology questions, including location of wireless access, audio/visual for meeting broadcasts, and use of electronics during meetings. He said that, for example, when applicants show plans, it might be useful to have the plans shown electronically to the television audience, rather than using the camera to attempt to focus on the paper copies of the plans. The Board is also considering providing work stations for the Board on the dais. Township Manager Joseph Czajkowski is researching other municipalities’ systems.
Mr. Thompson asked about software currently being used by Township employees, and whether the Township’s software can be accessed remotely.
Mr. Gallagher said that there are some difficulties with remote access, and at treasurer, he has had some problems with viewing files remotely.
Mr. Thompson and Mr. Bowers discussed evaluating the existing network and licensing agreements.
Mr. Bowers asked about making meetings available on the internet.
Mr. Gallagher said that currently, Wrightstown is working with Video Gold to have meetings available this way. It is possible to look at the agenda and go directly to the portion of the meeting you wish to review. He believes that Wrightstown is paying about $5000 a year for this service.
Mr. Bowers suggested that it might be possible to upload the DVD the Township is provided in its Video Gold contract, possibly using Youtube. He agreed to investigate this further.
Member Comments: The members discussed attempting to improve communication between this committee and the Township. Mr. Gallagher indicated that he would make an effort to attend more of the meetings.
The meeting adjourned at 9:10 PM.
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary