Newtown Township

Technology Committee

Minutes of the meeting of April 28, 2009

The Newtown Township Technology Committee met on April 28, 2009 in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were Chairman Edward Lipski and members Mike Horan and Jon Schnell. Also in attendance was Township Supervisor Mike Gallagher .

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM.

Approval of Minutes: Mr. Lipski noted that page 1, paragraph 5 should read, “…discuss the use of Access by the Department…”.

Mr. Horan moved to accept the minutes as amended. Mr. Lipski seconded and the motion passed 3-0.

New Business: Mr. Lipski reported that he has spoken to three residents who have expressed interest in working on the Technology Committee. He has forwarded their resumes to the other members, and all would be qualified and welcome members of the Committee. A fourth person has also expressed interest but Mr. Lipski has not yet spoken to that person.

Mr. Gallagher said that he would share the resumes with the Board for possible appointments to the Committee before the next meeting.

Park and Recreation Project: Mr. Lipski reported that he has scheduled a meeting with Northampton’s Park and Recreation Director to discuss third party hosting of the Northampton Park and Rec Web site. Mrs. Pawlenko will also be attending the meeting. Of particular concern to the Park and Rec department is the ability to work with information currently kept in an Access program. Currently Access is used to generate statistics on program income, expenses and participation.

The members discussed the use of a third party for both creating and maintaining the Web site, as well as using information gathered through the site. Using the requirements document, the Township could issue RFP’s for the site. Once the Township has some proposals from third party vendors, a cost/benefit analysis could be done to compare the vendors to doing work in house, possibly using interns to create the site. To be included in any proposals would be information of the creation and maintenance of a database, the Department’s ability to access that database and the Department’s ability to make changes or easily and inexpensively have changes made. This is particularly important to the Department, as classes are added or removed from the offerings frequently.

Technology in Municipal Building: The Committee continued its discussion of recommendations for technology for the new building. The members discussed the following recommendations

  1. Include both wired and wireless connections to the Internet
    • CAT5E internet cable at 90 meter runs between switch termination points
  2. Provide public wireless capabilities in main meeting room, hallway outside meeting room, conference rooms
    • Determine whether through public access or key code
    • Is blocking required if Twp receives federal funds?
    • If blocking required, should Twp be blocking now for employees?
    • Does Twp have policy document for use of technology including internet?
    • Would policy need to be developed/adapted for public access?
  3. Provide a kiosk to connect to Township Web site outside main meeting room and in public area near Park and Recreation reception.
    • Should electronic forms be developed for Codes?
    • Should kiosks include Codes forms?
    • Is legal opinion needed to determine method for collection of electronic signatures
    • Can kiosk be used for requesting/receiving information under “Right to know”?
  4. Netbooks for Board and consultants on dais to be used during Board meetings (can be used to review plans in electronic form)
    • Dais should be designed to accept Netbooks whether purchased immediately or not
    • Netbook or Netbook capability at podium?
  5. Large screen television for audience to view plans in main meeting room
  6. Smartboard installed permanently in main meeting room
  7. Portable Smartboard which can be wheeled among locations for meetings
  8. VPN access to Twp network from home for Supervisors/key employees
    • Develop policy for shared drives
  9. Begin review of use of/elimination of paper

As part of implementing wired and wireless technology for the Board, the members discussed ways to eliminate some paper use to help reduce both the costs for copier leases and for the paper itself, as well as time spent by personnel making copies.

Mr. Schnell said that he will look into inviting a representative of Smartboard to either a work session or Board meeting to demonstrate the uses to the Board.

The meeting adjourned at 9:10 PM.


Respectfully Submitted:


Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary