Newtown Township

Technology Committee

Minutes of the meeting of February 26, 2013

Present: Kyle Davis, Alex Kasyanov, Ed Lipski, Dan Paramesh, Bob Penland, Prasad Ramnath and Jon Schnell.

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

Organization of Committee: The Committee briefly reviewed the duties of chairman, which would include setting the agenda, guiding work to be done and reporting periodically to the Supervisors.

Mr. Lipski nominated Mr. Davis to serve as chairman. Mr. Penland seconded and the motion passed 7-0.

The members discussed the duties of vice-chairman, which would include setting the agenda, leading the meetings and reporting to the Supervisors in the absence of the chairman. The members agreed to table this until the March meeting to consider members’ other obligations. Mr. Lipski indicated that he has been chairman of the committee since its inception in 2008. He would still be an active member and would lend guidance and assistance to the new chairman/vice chairman until they felt comfortable in their positions.

Approval of Minutes: The recording secretary reminded the members that the December meeting was canceled as it was Christmas Day and the January meeting lacked a quorum.

Mr. Lipski moved to accept the minutes of November 27, 2012. Mr. Davis seconded and the motion passed 6-0.

Planning for 2013: The members reviewed the 5 year plan, discussing the need for upgrades to or replacement of the document management system and the Township Web site. Any recommendations which would involve capital spending would need to be in the 2014 budget. The members agreed to focus narrowly on specific improvements, upgrades or purchases which would all be part of the outlined 5 year plan. All agreed that some change in document management should be the top priority for the Technology Committee.

Mr. Davis asked whether anything could be added to the 2013 budget.

The recording secretary said that she did not know whether capital purchases not included in the 2013 budget could be added if funds became available. She said that it is her understanding that preparation of the 2014 budget is an ongoing project for the Board and Township Manager, however it is not formally assembled until September or October and presented to the Board on the first Wednesday of November. At that time it is reviewed, discussed and adjusted before adoption at the last public meeting of December.

Mr. Davis and Mr. Lipski suggested that the members focus on document management software, reviewing staff needs, available products and associated costs. Early in this research, when preliminary costs can be estimated, the chairman would discuss the Committee’s work at a Supervisors work session to get Board members’ input before proceeding further. It would be helpful to include in this research the benefits to residents of an improved method of document management.

Looking ahead, the first step toward the document management project will be to draft a requirements document. Mr. Kasyanov suggested that cost effectiveness of a change should be included early in the planning.

The members discussed reviewing research already done on possible Web site improvements.

Mr. Davis said that he would create a Google folder of all past documents and invite the others to view it. He would include past work done on both document management and Web site enhancements. He has saved past e-mails and memos among committee members which would also be included, along with the draft 5-year plan.

The members discussed whether there could be grant opportunities for either of the projects since they could be seen as enhancements to security.

Old Business: The recording secretary reported that the Park and Recreation Board has discussed the benefits of the move to the system as implemented by the Technology Committee. The Park and Recreation Department is now able to easily produce reports on programs and camps, which can be sorted for such things as per participant costs, ratio of resident/non-resident participation and profitability of different sessions of a class. On-line registration continues to increase, although most registrants prefer either telephoning or coming in person to discuss programs before enrolling. Most registrants have visited the site before phoning and have found it helpful and easy to use.

Mr. Lipski suggested that this information should be included in any reports to the Board of Supervisors as an indication of past Tech Committee success.

The meeting adjourned at 9:00 PM.

Respectfully Submitted:


Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary