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Newtown Technology Committee Presentation


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Presentation made by Jo Vlastaris, Chair of the Technology Committee, at the June 13, 2018, Board of Supervisors meeting.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Newtown Technology Committee Presentation

  1. 1. Technology Committee Recommendations May 2018
  2. 2. Technology Committee Highlights Main highlights starting with the earliest accomplishments: • Procured domain for Parks and Rec, making it simple for residents to find the site. Helped create separate Park & Rec website with on-line registration and credit card payments (enabled P&R to reduce brochure publication and paper distribution of flyers). • WiFi and TV recommendations for new public meeting room and community room. • Paperless initiative – starting with e-mail attachments as packets for committees, eventually migrating to GoogleDocs for all packets. Significantly reduced paper usage and time delivering docs throughout the township. • Launched Google Mail
  3. 3. Technology Committee Highlights (cont’d) • Launched Cloud storage • Procured domain for the website. Upgraded Township website – included interviewing vendors, other municipal website review for design, lay- out, navigation and content. • Upgrade of DocStar • Extensive research into the following : • Social Media Policy for departments and employees • Text notification systems for residents such as Nixle • Disaster recovery planning • Review of municipal management software
  4. 4. Current Agenda Items • Emergency notification system (researched/proposed Nixle) • Proactive Township notification of urgent events • Resident reporting platforms • Researched SeeClickFix • App for resident reporting of road hazards (i.e., potholes) • Researched/obtained bid from CitySourced • CRM back office management (includes digital service delivery to residents) • Analytics & reporting • Analytics • Committee recommended setting up Google Analytics account to monitor traffic and bounce rate for website, and make changes to pages as needed. • Parks and Rec • Committee recommended using geolocation technology to assist with park navigation. • Committee proposed use of drones capturing footage of parks and trails to post on website to familiarize residents with recreational options.
  5. 5. Appendix
  6. 6. June 2015 Projects • Township website: A subcommittee of Tech committee members, two supervisors and Township Administration reviewed the proposals and met with the four companies which submitted proposals for an updated website. • Docstar: Although the Committee had investigated possible replacements for Docstar, in light of recent hardware failures, it recommended that the Township upgrade the old Docstar system. • Cloud Migration: As the Township began its migration to Google, the Technology Committee made itself available to help staff work through any issues. The use of Google has already been very successful for document sharing among the Township’s various committees, boards and commissions and Township staff has found it very effective in saving time and money by eliminating almost all paper (and copy time). • Social Media Policy: The Committee has reviewed the social media policies of a number of municipalities and government agencies and recommends that the Township adopt a policy similar to that created for Doylestown Township by Begley Carlin & Mandio. • The Committee also made itself available to assist with making better use of technology. In conjunction with this, it was suggested that the Committee observe the budget process in the fall to make recommendations on a solution that would enable Supervisors to see the impact of cuts/additions to the budget.
  7. 7. October 2012 Projects The Committee recommendation was for the Township to focus on a long-term plan for updating and upgrading hardware and software with immediate goals of: • Addressing the DocStar Document Management Program by either upgrading or replacing. • Reviewed upgrades available, as well as a few solutions better suited to municipal document management which use tax map parcel numbers or street addresses for indexing. • Reviewed current financial software for upgrade or replacement. • Reviewed current office software for possible upgrades. • Planned strategy for management of all IT infrastructure, service and support. The Committee stressed that this could be addressed by the Township Manager working with an IT service provider if an IT management employee were not feasible. • Researched hardware for Township meetings as part of the paperless initiative.
  8. 8. 2010 Goals The Technology Committee set the following goals for 2010: 1. Video Streaming of Township Board of Supervisors meetings: In anticipation of this and other Web related projects we recommended that the Township purchase the following web URLs: o o o 2. “PowerPoint Producer”/Supervisors on Demand: We researched ways to provide a web video of Board meetings with the added feature of clicking to the portion of the meeting where specific agenda matters are discussed. The viewer would also see associated documents if available.
  9. 9. 2010 Goals (cont’d) 3. “Live Meeting” uses and education: The Technology Committee met via live meeting software to review the new building A/V proposals. This was deemed an easy way to get together unofficially. The same technology could be used by other committees, boards and commissions for sub-committee discussions, or for use by members off site during a regularly scheduled meeting. 4. Paperless Initiative: The Committee determined how documents are generated, stored and used by the Township’s employees and volunteers, and reviewed how to make use of the already licensed “SharePoint” software. 5. Tax Office Technology: Committee members visited the tax office to learn about available technology, and whether that technology is being fully utilized to make improvement recommendations.
  10. 10. December 2009 Projects The Technology Committee worked on the following projects in 2009: • Park and Recreation Website:, hosted by, was launched and accepts on-line credit card registration. Residents find the site easy to navigate and responsive. The Park and Rec Department can generate data and reports on enrollment, revenues, etc. • Technology for new building: The Committee reviewed proposals for various audio/visual equipment with prices upward of $100,000 and after carefully comparing the existing technology with the upgrades, recommended that rather than invest in elaborate equipment, the Township continue to use its current A/V equipment, postponing purchase of upgrades for two to five years. Its recommendation was that two 50-inch 1080i televisions be installed in the large public meeting room. This would cost about $3600, including wiring and installation.