Newtown Township

Technology Committee

Minutes of the meeting of August 28, 2012


Present: Chairman Ed Lipski, and members Alex Kasyanov, Bob Penland and Jon Schnell.

Call to Order: Mr. Lipski called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM.

Approval of Minutes: Mr. Lipski moved to accept the minutes of May 29, 2012. Mr. Schnell seconded and the motion passed 4-0.

New Business

Electronic Packets: The recording secretary reported that the Township has been successfully using GoogleDocs for electronic packets for a number of weeks. Olivia Kivenko, administrative assistant to the Township Manager, has created Supervisors packets and each Supervisor, the Manager and Engineer has brought personal hardware to meetings. The recording secretary has used electronic packets for the Planning Commission and Zoning Hearing Board, however, until the Township addresses hardware, some papers are still necessary for meetings.

The recording secretary asked whether there should be additional security measures taken to protect the packets.

The members agreed that the electronic packet is as safe as paper packets, which are hand delivered to recipients’ doorsteps. They would research further security measures which could be taken including not using e-mail addresses as user names and encrypting certain documents. Mr. Kasyanov agreed to develop some guidelines, but also agreed that the documents are safe.

Regarding hardware, the members quickly reviewed options and felt that tablets might be the least expensive option. They can be loaded with a tracking device to prevent their “disappearing.” The only concern would be that the devices would need to be charged before each meeting.

Mr. Lipski said that he would review available tablets for size, speed and price and offer some recommendations.

Development of 5-Year Plan

Document Management: Mr. Lipski reported that he met with Township Manager Kurt Ferguson, Allen Herr and Mike Gallagher to discuss the direction to take for document management. Mr. Ferguson has worked with other systems which use tax map parcel numbers or addresses to organize documents. He favors replacing DocStar rather than upgrading it. He explained the benefits to residents and employees when documents are organized using such a system, including an ease in locating specific information on any property as well as adding to that information from telephones or iPads when working in the field.

The members discussed possibly changing systems. Of particular concern would be migration of existing files and ease of transition.

Mr. Schnell suggested working with Mr. Herr to develop an RFP for a new system, with emphasis on the transition phase.

The members discussed a presentation some years ago by Carroll Engineering on a product called MuniLogic. Mr. Schnell said that he would review this product further, to see whether its components should be included in an RFP.

The meeting adjourned at 8:45 PM.

 

Respectfully Submitted:

 

Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary