Technology Advisory Committee holds first meeting
Published 3:19 pm, Thursday, May 10, 2018
NEW CANAAN — The boardroom at Town Hall has hosted discussions on finance, policy and zoning regulations. On Tuesday evening, it was all about technology.
Randall Dalia and Paul Pureka were approved as chairman and secretary, respectively, of the Selectmen Technology Advisory Committee during the group’s first official meeting. The committee, formed in February upon recommendation from First Selectman Kevin Moynihan, is composed of five members: Michael Abbott, Jeff Platt, Annamari Mikkola, Dalia and Pureka.
The committee members’ experience range from product development and mobile payment applications to website and software design.
“The idea would be to see how we can use technology to make our (town) operations more efficient and interact better with our citizens and vendors,” Moynihan said at the start of the meeting.
Chris Kaiser, the town’s director of information technology, who sat in at the meeting, will act as a liaison between the committee and the town’s various departments.
Technology Advisory Committee website: http://www.newcanaan.info/content/9488/9220/809/27756/default.aspx
The committee spent the majority of its first meeting deciding what factors they would focus on going forward.
These, for now, include payment processing, the town’s website, social presence, digital strategy and online municipal practices. The committee also discussed how residents could get involved by providing feedback — possibly via Facebook or Twitter — regarding the town’s online processes.
“I think some of these need to be more defined,” said Dalia, a former vice president of IBM Global Business Services. “These are potential opportunities we could focus on.”
Another topic discussed was how the committee could save money on credit card processing fees by using mobile applications like Venmo.
“We have to look at what we collect each day, but perhaps more efficiently,” Dalia said.
The technology committee, though created with unanimous approval from the Board of Selectmen, did not pass without some opposition in February.
Selectman Kit Devereaux had argued in favor of preserving the now defunct Utilities Commission which she called a “public and accessible vehicle” for the town. That commission lacked a quorum after it saw three members resign in the fall of last year.
Still in its early phases, Selectmen Technology Advisory Committee members are planning to prioritize goals and technology that improve town services.
“We’d like to get some sort of order and make prolific contributions,” Pureka, who created the town’s online parking payment system, said. “There’s a lot of ideas and we have to keep focused.”