Newtown Township

Technology Committee

Minutes of the meeting of August 30, 2011

The Newtown Township Technology Committee met on August 30, 2011 in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were: Chairman Ed Lipski, Kyle Davis, 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 June 28, 2011. Mr. Davis seconded and the motion passed 6-0.

Five Year IT Plan

Mr. Lipski reminded the members that they had been considering conducting an inventory of Township PCs and their various programs, licenses and users, as a method of ascertaining which programs have the appropriate licensing. Mr. Herr, the Township’s technology consultant, had indicated that not all programs in use on the Township’s 50-60 PCs have proper licenses.

The members agreed that it might be better to insure proper licenses are in place as new PCs are purchased as part of the replacement cycle. The committee will develop a plan for managing licenses as part of the overall IT Plan.

Mr. Penland suggested that an inventory could be created using “spiceworks,” a program which reads what software is on each machine. The inventory will be useful in planning the replacement schedule. There are other products that can do similar inventories, such as GFI and Belarc. Mr. Penland will further research which product would best suit the IT plan’s goals. He noted that before any inventory program is run, it would be necessary to advise the users, to avoid any invasion of privacy.

Mr. Lipski agreed to discuss this with the Township Manager. He would also discuss whether the Township has a specific policy on use of the Township’s computers for any kind of personal use.

Mr. Schnell noted that the inventorying software would run ongoing scans; it would be advisable to notify employees that this is the case.

Mr. Lipski reported that he and Mr. Shukla had met Fire Marshal Don Harris to discuss their department’ use of technology. There is some specific software as part of the 911 and court systems. The Fire Department has some use of the AMS accounting software for billings for inspections, etc. Right now this requires double entry and the Fire Marshal would like that process streamlined. He would also be interested in some kind of electronic notification for 911 calls. They currently are sent from the county 911 service by fax. There are laptops in the fire trucks, so perhaps this could be changed to an e-fax.

Mr. Lipski said that he is arranging for a meeting with the Police Chief and urged the other committee members to participate if they are available.

Mr. Lipski reminded the members that he would like to complete a first draft to present to the Supervisors in time for budget planning in October and November. He outlined the following tasks:

  • Continue to work on the draft document on Google docs during monthly on-line meetings
  • Discuss a technology policy with Twp. Manager and if there is not a policy, perhaps help draft one. Might be matter for solicitor
  • Speak to Alan Herr about Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity (Mr. Paramesh?)
  • Review previous years’ budgets for technology to act as guide going forward (Mr. Penland?)
  • Review differences between capital and operating budgets as dictated by the State with a goal of possibly moving certain line items to different budgets (Mr. Schnell)
  • Search for replacements for Docstar and AMS accounting software (Mr. Davis)

The members agreed to meet on-line in two weeks to continue drafting the plan.

Mr. Lipski moved to adjourn at 8:45 PM. Mr. Schnell seconded and the motion passed 6-0.

 

Respectfully Submitted:

 

Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary