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City of Monroe Technology Committee of Council Aug 3, 2011 Minutes
Tuesday, August 23, 2011 4:30:28 PM - Monroe Ohio

by Angela Wasson, Assistant to The City Manager

The Technology Committee of Council met at 6:00 pm on August 3, 2011 in the Council Library located at 233 South Main Street, Monroe, Ohio.

Present were: Steve Black, Council Member; Suzi Rubin, Council Member; William J. Brock, City Manager/City Engineer; Jason Chance, Information Technology Manager; and Angela S. Wasson, Assistant to the City Manager/Clerk of Council.

Mr. Black referred to a status update on digital billboards prepared by Kevin Chesar, Director of Development.
Mr. Brock explained that it was in response to turning one of the billboards south of the mall into an electronic billboard. In response to Mr. Black’s inquiry, Mr. Brock advised that we currently do not permit these types of billboards. However, we can look at it as we are going through the Planning and Zoning Code update.
Mr. Black would like to tie into the Amber Alert Emergency System and other emergency alerts, if these types of billboards are permitted.

Mr. Brock felt that we could work with the Artemis and provide vague language in the Code to be able to work it into our own purposes and a cooperative effort.

Mrs. Rubin asked Mr. Black if he wanted to allow electronic billboards. Mr. Black was of the opinion that we should have some qualifications in place as he doesn’t believe we are going to keep them out forever.
Mrs. Rubin pointed out that some places they are concerned about accidents where you have the movable ones. She referenced Kentucky where you are only permitted to have so much light near the highway. Mr. Brock noted that the Ohio Department of Transportation doesn’t care.

Mr. Brock explained that right now new billboards are not allowed, but the billboard in question they want to replace out an existing one. When you take it down it must follow current regulations and you are not permitted to put it up. He will discuss this with Mr. Chesar as it may help avoid any legal issues with Lamar.

Mr. Black asked about security cameras in Community Park and if is cost prohibitive.
Mr. Brock said the concern was tying it back to the City Building.
Mr. Chance did not recall the amount Time Warner quoted to tie it in, but recalled to be around $5,000.
Mr. Black asked if the thought at that time was constant monitoring.
Mr. Chance responded yes because the problems were happening in the back and around the restrooms and it would enable a live feed to dispatch.
Mr. Black suggested that even if it were not a live feed, we could record on a DVR at least try to identify those responsible when there is damage.
Mr. Chance advised that if we get an unclear picture of someone doing damage and they do $2,500 worth of damage and there is $500 of repairs, we would have an okay image at best.
With regard to resolution, Mr. Chance advised Mr. Black we would have a 24 x 768. Mr. Black stated that you could get up to five megapixels now.
Mr. Chance agreed, but part of the issue is going with an 800 x 600 camera.
Mr. Black asked about spending a little money on simple monitoring and taking a look at a really good camera.
Mr. Chance stated that none of the transmission services included in either one of the quotes includes anything to do with Time Warner. No matter what that transmission service there will be the DVR sits in the concession stand and a wireless is needed in the back.
Mr. Black asked about a repeater. Mr. Chance only had the two quotes to tie in to the concession stand. Mr. Black asked if he could look at what we can get with just recording without active monitoring and how this would be funded. Mr. Brock replied that it would be funded out of the Park Fund.

Mr. Black would like to have a sidebar on the website that shows what has been updated since his last visit. He also asked about a

Q & A forum for residents to ask questions.
Mrs. Wasson noted that currently residents can ask questions by sending an email to or Facebook.
Mr. Black would like to get those questions out there that may have already been answered and people can go to one place to see if it has been asked and/or answered.

Mr. Brock asked if Mr. Black was looking for a forum to hold back and forth discussion on the site. Mr. Black asked if there were any legal issues with that and if questions sent to could automatically be updated to the website.
Mrs. Wasson explained that a lot of the questions could be put out there; however, if someone wants to send an email complaining about their neighbor they were fearful of, that is not something you would want to put out there. Issues such as low water pressure are put on the website and Facebook. When a response is put on Facebook they can be responded to right away.

Mrs. Wasson explained that part of the website could be setup to have an individual page for each Council Member to post, with a disclaimer that these comments may not be the opinion of the entire Council.

Mr. Brock’s concern is having seven different voices rather than one official answer of the City. He pointed out that you may be creating an area that Council is having a discussion.

Mrs. Wasson recommended not using Google Docs because Council would be commenting on an issue and then come to a Council meeting and making a decision without having the discussion in public. Mr. Black would not recommend using that for collaboration.
Mr. Brock reminded the Committee that not all Council members use
Mr. Brock reminded that not all seven are using electronic forms of communication.
Mrs. Rubin’s concern with Google Docs is it would have to be a public record; however, it is not under our control. She suggested a program called BoardDocs and you could put the background material on there so Council can see what is coming up before the packets go out.
Mrs. Rubin said with the it is a public record and it would not be under our control, but we can put it on our site as a public record. There is a program called board docs and you can be putting your background material on there you can see what is coming before the packets go out. We could email you about certain items and perhaps add to it. She also referred to Click Fix. Mr. Brock advised that we are using that now.

Mrs. Rubin suggesting having a place to post and it would not be released until it was approved to be posted.
Mrs. Wasson will put together some ideas and schedule another meeting to test out the ideas.
Mr. Black wants to make sure citizens have a place to go to get answers to their questions.
Mr. Chance briefly explained the digital board that will be placed at the new library/community room.

The Technology Committee meeting adjourned at 7:07 pm.

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