Newtown Township

Technology Committee

Minutes of the meeting of September 27, 2011

The Newtown Township Technology Committee met on August 27, 2011 in the Newtown Township Building. In attendance and voting were: Chairman Ed Lipski, Anand Shukla, Vice Chairman, Dan Paramesh, , 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 August 30, 2011. Mr.Schnell seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Five Year IT Plan

Mr. Lipski reported that during its on-line meeting, the members had discussed using Spiceworks software on Township computers. At this point, no action has been taken. The approval of the Township Manager will be necessary for this.

The members discussed management of information regarding the licenses for the Township computers. It was the members’ understanding that Allen Herr would be in the best position to handle this.

The members discussed the need for the Township to have an IT person to help with management of licenses, implementation of the 5 year plan and other matters, whether it is a consultant of a dedicated employee.

Mr. Paramesh said that he would like to compile a list of all software being used throughout the Township’s departments before he could develop a business continuity strategy. He would also need information on current storage and back-up. He would speak to Mr. Herr about this.

Mr. Lipski reported that Mr. Davis has been investigating a Xerox document management product, and has attempted to have a demonstration, but it appears to be a very costly investment. It may be that updating Docstar might be more cost effective than purchasing a new system/product.

Looking ahead, the members agreed to try to complete the 1 year recommendations/plan in time for the October Technology meeting and to present to the Township as they begin budget discussions in November.

Police Department Meeting

Mr. Lipski reported that he, along with Mr. Schnell and Mr. Shukla met with Police Chief Henry Pasqualini and Detective Palko to discuss the Department’s use of technology and future needs and goals.

Chief Pasqualini discussed some of the issues the department currently faces:

  • The department would like to send and receive BOLO’s from other departments via e-mail
  • There are difficulties with opening PDF attachments.
  • There are some issues with the ALERT server
  • The Department cannot store and archive crime scene photos
  • FBI background checks and criminal histories can only be delivered via Fax. Case numbers are also assigned by the County via fax
  • Mobile Data terminals in cars are very slow

Mr. Paramesh suggested looking into grants from the Department of Homeland Security for some equipment additions and upgrades.

Mr. Schnell said that he would investigate ways to receive faxes electronically through either exchange or outlook. He would need to know more about the Township’s telephone system.

Mr. Lipski noted that the Fire Department also has some concerns about using faxes rather than electronic notifications.

Looking ahead, the Police Department would like some enhancements to the Web site. It would be helpful if, for example, residents who are going to be away, could log that information onto the site so Police would know a house is going to be empty. They would also like to be able to easily update displays of stolen and recovered items. The Department will be asking for surveillance cameras for the parks in this year’s budget capital requests.

Mr. Shukla said that he would look into crime mapping.

For Next Meeting

  • Mr. Penland will forward a draft of the 1 year plan document for members to review
  • Mr. Lipski will speak to the Township Manager about Spiceworks
  • Mr. Lipski will arrange introductions between Mr. Paramesh and Mr. Herr
  • Mr. Lipski will ask Mr. Herr for an updated list of infrastructure and software
  • The Committee will reach out to the Codes Department about its needs
  • Mr. Lipski will speak to Park and Recreation about any additional needs
  • Continue discussion on update to Docstar (It appears that SharePoint might be too limited for Township needs.)
The meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM.


Respectfully Submitted:


Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary