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Technology Committee

Minutes of September 24, 2014

Deputy Town Clerk Stu Marckoon called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM

Present were:  Committee members Bill Butler, Brett Jones, Merle Bragdon, CTV operator Kendall Davis III, and Stu Marckoon.

Chair Selection – Brett nominated Bill to be the chair.  Merle 2nd.  Vote in favor was 2-1 (Butler).

Recording Secretary – Merle nominated Stu.  Brett 2nd.  Vote in favor was 3-0.

Committee Scope – Because this is the inaugural meeting of the newly appointed committee, there was a lengthy discussion about what the scope of its activities should include.  Stu reminded the group that it’s more than just the cable TV channel. 

Brett said Lamoine seems to be much more aggressive with supplying TV programming that many surrounding communities.  There was a discussion about televising meetings and the group felt the telecasts presented many advantages.

There was a discussion about having the TV schedule posted on the website, providing on-demand programming, and utilizing YouTube to make meetings available.

Brett said he would read up in the manual on how to possibly create on demand programming.

There was a discussion about use of the franchise fee, recommendations to the Board of Selectmen, and the criteria for franchise fee use.  The group asked for a copy of the Time Warner report showing how many subscribers there are, and the current franchise agreement with Time Warner. 

There was discussion about negotiating and managing the Time Warner contract, and the density/satellite dish components of the contract.

There was a long discussion about information technology and the CTV channel at the school, and it was agreed that there should be a discussion in the future with the school committee about that. 

The group agreed other technology recommendations should probably be within the group’s scope.  There was a discussion about budget issues, internal computing technology, expenditures and policy. 

There was a discussion about the public’s expectations especially where high speed internet availability is concerned.  It was mentioned that Ellsworth is currently conducting a study to show what is available within that community’s boundaries.  

There was a discussion about the future delivery of television programming and what impact that might have on the franchise fee. 

The group suggested holding a forum ahead of any talks with Time Warner on the franchise agreement, so that it might know the pitfalls ahead of time.  There was a request to see if any other communities have recently negotiated a new contract with Time Warner.

Staffing – Kendall said he is still available on Thursday afternoons.  He noted that he will be graduating from high school next year. 

Franchise Agreement – The committee asked Stu to contact Shelley Winchenbach to see what process should be followed and to copy the committee on that e-mail and any response.

Programming/Staff Recruitment – There was discussion about how the RSU was an impediment to recruiting students to staff the CTV operation.   It was suggested that the two major high schools in the area be contacted to let them know that CTV staffing would be a community service opportunity.

Website – It was noted that the town’s website was presently off line due to a server failure.  Brett said he is working on the new server and would install it after the meeting with the goal of having the site up overnight.   There was a recommendation to the Board of Selectmen to purchase a 2nd server as a backup, and a discussion of having an automatic backup for that server.

E-Mail/DNS – Brett explained the current web hosting situation.  He said there was an attack on the DNS component so that has been switched to Time Warner along with the e-mail hosting.  There was discussion about a new router and home access for staff to post to the website.

Policy – Brett said he would recommend that each elected and appointed official have an e-mail address within the town’s domain and to conduct town business only on those accounts.  The committee asked to see what Ellsworth has for an e-mail policy and how they manage those e-mail accounts.

Next Meeting – The next technology committee meeting will be Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 6PM.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 7:20 PM

Respectfully submitted,

Stu Marckoon, Recording Secretary