Newtown Township

Technology Committee

Minutes of the meeting of February 23, 2010

The Newtown Township Technology Committee met on February 23, 2010 in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were Chairman Edward Lipski, Vice Chairman Anand Shukla and members Robert Bowers, Lynn Brennan, Jon Schnell.

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

Approval of Minutes: Mr. Shukla moved to accept the minutes of November 24, 2009. Mr. Lipski seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Microsoft Producer: Mr. Schnell said that he would prepare a demonstration of Microsoft Producer for the next meeting. This product would enable the Township to post the Board of Supervisors meeting on line with the agenda, allowing viewers to select specific agenda items they wish to see.

Tax Office: Ms. Brennan reported that she had met with tax collector Tammy Sutton to discuss ways the tax office could make better use of available technology. First Ms. Sutton reviewed the entire tax procedure for Ms. Brennan, explaining the billing and reconciliation procedures for County, Town and School District taxes. The software currently used is DOS based; it would be the tax collector’s own responsibility to pay for any upgrades of software or hardware.

Ms. Sutton indicated that she would like the Technology Committee’s input primarily in expanding the tax collector’s web presence as a link from the Townships Web site. She would like to include certain forms on the site as well as links to the County, State and Berkheimer. She has recently arranged for credit card payment of taxes, but would like to be able to allow for on-line payments. She is also interested in using bar codes on tax bills.

Ms. Brennan said that she had also spoken to Ms. Sutton about making better use of technology for some of the clerical tasks the tax collector’s office performs, such as tax certifications. Ms. Sutton had explained that these certifications are requests from various sources such as banks, real estate agents, mortgage companies and title companies for tax information on properties. She would like to establish an on-line request form.

Mr. Lipski reviewed the tax collector’s requests:

  1. Improved Web presence with
    • On line forms
    • On line payments
    • Secure tax certifications
  2. Bar codes on bills

The Committee discussed the next steps for this project and agreed first to review the current Township site’s tax collector information. They will review other municipalities’ tax collector web pages and research whether there are some pre-packaged web sites as were found when the Committee investigated the Park and Recreation sites.

Paperless Initiative: Mr. Bowers said that some other municipalities are attempting to reduce the amount of paper used. The School District has also undertaken a major initiative to reduce the amount of paper copied and distributed. This has involved to retraining of students, staff and parents to make better use of on line resources.

Mr. Shukla said that he would contact Doylestown Borough, which had announced last year that it would reduce its use of paper in order to save about $40,000.

Without objection the meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM.

 

Respectfully Submitted:

 

Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary