Newtown Township

Technology Committee

Minutes of the meeting of January 31, 2012

Present: Kyle Davis, Ed Lipski, Robert Penland, Prasad Ramnath, Jonathan Schnell, members. Also in attendance: Alex Kasyanov.

Call to Order: The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM.

Organization of Committee: Mr. Davis nominated Mr. Lipski to serve as chairman. Mr. Penland seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Mr. Lipski nominated Mr. Penland to serve as vice chairman. Mr. Ramnath seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Approval of Minutes: Mr. Lipski moved to accept the minutes of November 29, 2012. Mr. Davis seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Employee and Committee Surveys: Mr. Lipski said that he would contact former member Anand Shukla for the passwords to view the results of the employee surveys he conducted last year. He would share the information with the members prior to the next meeting. He was not sure whether the survey of Township volunteers had been completed and circulated.

Mr. Penland said that if the survey of volunteers had not been done, he would complete it.

IT Plan: Mr. Lipski explained that the Committee has been working on a 1, 2 and 5 year IT plan for the Township with specific and general guidelines to bring technology use up to date. He reviewed the current structure of the Township and use of technology by the various departments, including administration, codes, finance, fire, police and park and recreation. Each department has different needs and uses. He explained that the Township’s technology employee handles a variety of responsibilities, including troubleshooting for all equipment, updating the Web site and television station, and installation and minor repairs. A consultant is used for any major issues.

The Technology Committee had begun a five year plan, using the SUNY Albany plan as a template. It is currently being drafted in Google Docs. The Committee usually has one “go-to-meeting” each month to work on the document. Mr. Lipski said that he would like to move this draft to a wiki page, so that each of the members could make contributions at their own convenience.

The members discussed their concerns with Docstar. Mr. Davis has been researching other available document management programs because the Township’s Docstar version has expired.

Mr. Lipski said that another aspect of the five year plan will be license compliance. Some programs are being used that proper licenses might not be on file for. The members have been investigating possible remedies and favor correcting the licensing going forward as the hardware is on a five year replacement plan. Each new computer will have proper licensing.

Mr. Penland said that other topics which should be included in the plan are tech support, back-up of files, business continuity, IT policy, technology management and virus protection.

To prepare for the next meeting Mr. Lipski said the members should prepare for the following:

  • Get survey data from Mr. Shukla
  • Meet with Codes Department on their technology needs/current use
  • Plan to meet with Supervisors at work session to discuss 5-year plan draft
  • Begin to prepare budget for implementation of 5-year plan.

Mr. Schnell suggested that the committee prepare a requirements document for document management.

The members agreed to work with an overhead projector and laptop computers at the next meeting to begin a framework for the plan.

The recording secretary reviewed the budget timeline, noting that the financial planning committee reviews the capital budgets for the departments during the summer and the budget is presented the first week in November. It is reviewed and adjusted for adoption by the end of the year.

The members agreed to aim for a May deadline for the draft document to be presented to the Supervisors.

Member Comments: The members introduced themselves to Mr. Kasyanov.

Mr. Kasyanov said that he is eager to join the committee. He has experience with open source document management and would be able to contribute to considerations of alternatives to the current Docstar use.

The meeting adjourned at 8:45 PM.


Respectfully Submitted:


Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary