Newtown Township

Technology Committee

Minutes of the meeting of June 28, 2011

The Newtown Township Technology Committee met on June 28, 2011 in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were: Chairman Ed Lipski, Vice Chairman Anand Shukla, Kyle Davis, Dan Paramesh, Prasad Ramnath and Jon Schnell, members.

Call to Order: Mr. Lipski called the meeting to order at 7:50 PM. The members had been in attendance at the financial planning committee meeting to discuss IT costs in the coming year.

Approval of Minutes: Mr. Shukla moved to approve the minutes of May 31, 2011. Mr. Davis seconded and the motion passed 6-0.  

5 Year IT Plan: Mr. Ramnath said that he would research some of the costs of items outlined on the draft document before the next on-line meeting.

Employee Technology Survey: Mr. Shukla reported that the survey had been circulated among employees. There have been 32 responses, many with additional comments. He will provide the members with a password to review the results. Of particular interest to him was that there are a number of different versions of Microsoft Office in use. He also noted that among the responses were suggestions to provide on-line access to various permit applications used by residents. Those using the open office trial were not pleased with it; it had received many negative comments.

Mr. Ramnath suggested that if the Township is interested in continuing to use open office, it might be a good idea to use interns as “super users,” and to provide more thorough training and support.

Mr. Shukla noted that he did not think there were many responses from the police department. He said that he would attempt to speak directly with Chief Pasqualini about any needs the police department might have.

Mr. Shukla said that he would like to circulate a shorter survey among the volunteers on the Township’s committees, boards and commissions.

The members discussed possible questions to include in the volunteer survey. Among ideas to be covered by the survey would be:

  • On line meetings for group work sessions, similar to the work the Technology Committee has done using “go-to-meeting.” Would such meetings help or limit productivity
  • Electronic copies of papers in member packets, including multi-page engineering plans and lengthy review letters
  • Use of projectors in meeting rooms

Document Management: Mr. Davis reported that he has begun to research a Xerox product for document management. It seems similar to SharePoint and runs on both Windows and Linux operating systems. The system appears to provide a document database and can manage accounts payable. He would continue to research this, focusing on other Pennsylvania muncipalities’ experiences with document management.

Financial Planning Meeting: Mr. Lipski reported that he had focused his discussion with the Financial Planning Committee on the importance of licensing of the Township’s software.

Next On-line Meeting: The members agreed to hold an on-line meeting on July 14 to continue work on the 5 year plan. The meeting would focus on updating infrastructure goals and developing diagrams and charts to illustrate the plan.

 

The meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM.

 

Respectfully Submitted:

 

Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary