Newtown Township

Technology Committee

Minutes of the meeting of February 22, 2011

The Newtown Township Technology Committee met on February 22, 2011 in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were: Chairman Ed Lipski, Vice Chairman Anand Shukla, and Kyle Davis and Jon Schnell, members.

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

Approval of Minutes: Mr. Lipski moved to approve the minutes of January 25, 2011. Mr. Davis seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

Technology Plan: Mr. Lipski reminded the members that they have begun to outline a 5 year technology plan document at the last meeting and during an on-line “go-to-meeting.” That work will continue through regular on-line meetings throughout the coming monthsMr. Davis reported that he and Mr. Lipski have begun researching a software service called Government Interact which provides back ends for municipal Web sites. Among its services are:

  • Notification of emergencies to residents

  • Tax payments on line

  • Notification of Township matters such as zoning hearings

  • Other government interactions with the community

This service is back-end only, not Web design. There is a monthly service charge. Mr. Davis said that he will arrange for a demonstration for the committee.

SharePoint: Resident Jim Bowe has offered to demonstrate SharePoint at an upcoming meeting. This technology will help the members draft and revise the 5 year plan document from their homes.

Open Source Content Management: Mr. Davis said that he has downloaded a free version of Al Fresco and will investigate its usefulness for the Township and the costs associated with licensing.

Employee Survey: Mr. Shukla reported that he has begun to draft an employee survey. Questions will include what technology each employee currently uses, including hardware and software; whether the current technology is satisfactory; whether there are any improvements needed and if so, what improvements are needed. The survey results will be anonymous, so that employees will feel free to discuss any difficulties or dissatisfaction with current technology, including with the recently adopted open source software being implemented.

Mr. Lipski said that he will speak to the Township Manager about contacting employees and asking for their cooperation with the survey.

Next Meeting: The members agreed to meet on-line on March 15 to continue work on the 5 year plan.

The meeting adjourned at 8:15 PM.


Respectfully Submitted:


Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary