Newtown Township

Technology Committee

Minutes of the meeting of March 29, 2011

The Newtown Township Technology Committee met on March 29, 2011 in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were: Chairman Ed Lipski, Vice Chairman Anand Shukla, Dan Paramesh, Bob Penland, Prasad Ramnath 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 February 22, 2011. Mr. Shukla seconded and the motion passed 3-0-3, with Messrs. Paramath, Penland and Ramnath abstaining.

Introductions: The new members introduced themselves. Mr. Lipski reviewed the history of the committee, discussing its mission as an advisory committee to the Supervisors and its past efforts to create an on-line presence for the Park and Recreation Department.

This year’s goal is to develop a five year IT Plan. Toward that end the members have been meeting, using “go to meeting” to develop the draft document on Google docs.

5 Year IT Plan Update: Mr. Schnell showed the three page outline the members have been working on. The document is still in outline form, with additional information still needed in most sections. The outline shows:

  1. Mission Statement

  2. History
  3. Current Infrastructure

    a. Finance Department – AMS

    b. Administration – Docstar (find replacement or upgrade?)
    Police – Self contained – JNET
    e. Park and Recreation – and constant contact
    g. Public Works

Survey: Mr. Shukla presented his draft employee survey. He explained that he will be asking what hardware and software is being used by each employee/department and whether it is satisfactory. He has a few questions regarding internet use and use of work accounts from home. All of the questions are very broad. Mr. Shukla will speak to the Township Manager about distributing the survey to employees. He hopes to have a large response. The results might help the Committee better gauge employee needs, now and for the next few years.

Mr. Penland suggested that some of the questions regarding frequency of use and satisfaction have some kind of measurement or scale for response. He also suggested that if the response is adequate, the same survey could be issued annually to measure change.

Mr. Shukla said that after he speaks to the Township Manager, he will draft an introduction which will explain the reason for the survey and will reassure respondents that the data being collected is being used only as a guide for the Committee’s evaluation of the Township’s current and future equipment and software needs.

Resident Jay Sensibaugh suggested that a variation of the survey might be sent to members of the Township’s committees, boards and commissions.

SharePoint: Mr. Lipski explained that committee volunteer Jim Bowe is planning to give a demonstration of SharePoint at an upcoming meeting. The members felt this might be helpful for the committee’s use as well as for employee use.

The recording secretary suggested that SharePoint might work well with the Township’s committees, as it might eliminate some of the paper currently being used.

Future Meetings: The members agreed to meet on-line on April 12 at 7:30 PM to continue drafting the 5 year plan and the survey. Mr. Lipski urged the new members to consider what part of the project they might like to work on.

Mr. Shukla moved to adjourn at 9:15 PM. Mr. Schnell seconded and the motion passed 6-0.


Respectfully Submitted:


Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary