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TWG Minutes - January 10, 2008

CITY OF FULLERTON

TECHNOLOGY WORKING GROUP

MEETING MINUTES

JANUARY 10, 2008

9:00 A.M.

 

CALL TO ORDER

Chair Burtner called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m.

 

ROLL CALL

 

Members Present

Roger Burtner, Chair Thad Sandford

Helen Hall Edward Smith

Madusha Palliyage Paul Stover, Vice Chair

Carl Samantello

Mike Carter arrived after roll call.

 

Members Absent

Tony Anderson Larry Iboshi

Fred Canfield Robb Port

Steve Giano

 

Staff

Robert Ferrier, Acting Assistant to the City Manager

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Chair Burtner asked if there were any corrections to the minutes of November 29, 2007. With no corrections, Thad Sandford moved approval of the minutes. The motion was seconded by Chair Burtner, and the minutes were unanimously approved.

 

Chair Burtner asked if there were any corrections to the minutes of December 20, 2007. With no corrections, Thad Sandford moved approval of the minutes. The motion was seconded by Edward Smith, and the minutes were unanimously approved.

 

DISCUSSION ITEMS

 

1. Creation of an educational/municipal (institutional) fiber/wireless network, FullertonNet

 

Sunesys and Paxio responses to school districts' Form 470s

 

Carl Samantello reported that he had not seen any responses yet from Sunesys and Paxio to the school district's Form 470, but both had told Chair Burtner that they would be submitting bids.

 

Chair Burtner noted that he had spoken with Sunesys representative Gina Espinoza, who stated that Sunesys engineers had visited every site on the TWG's I-Net map, and they are planning to bid the project on the basis of the I-Net architecture/conceptual design. Ms. Espinoza had indicated she would provide Chair Burtner with a copy of the submitted bid, but as of the time of this meeting, no copy had been received.

 

Mr. Sandford asked if the school districts might get permission from the City to use the fire stations as hubs if the City chooses to do nothing on the project and the school districts' choose to move ahead with the project. Chair Burtner stated that he believed the City should be the lead agency, but admitted he had heard comments that perhaps the school district should take the lead since they seemed to be moving faster than the City is.

 

Mr. Sandford suggested that by allowing a vendor to have access to the fire stations as hubs, it would result in the City having two-thirds of the network without doing anything, and that a contractor might view it to be in his interests to provide more than the minimum for the school districts if it gave him a bigger shot at any commercial rewards for having the capability within the City. This proposal assumes that the vendor would assign ownership of the network to the City at the end of the period when the construction costs had been reimbursed through E-rate services. Only Paxio and Broadband Associates have agreed to do this.

 

Vice Chair Stover suggested that the school districts might be the most knowledgeable when it comes to obtaining E-rate funds, but that the City controls the libraries, and libraries are also eligible for E-rate funds, so the City could apply for E-rate funds as well. Chair Burtner noted that in his conversations with Library Director Maureen Gebelein, she had confirmed that the library does receive Teleconnect funds, but they had never applied for E-rate, in part because of lack of manpower to go through the application process.

 

Mr. Samantello noted that he was surprised to have also learned that the City was not recouping funds for the libraries through E-rate, because they (libraries) are eligible for the same discounts as the school districts. Mr. Samantello indicated that he recommends hiring a consultant to handle the E-rate application process for the library because a consultant typically charges a flat fee or a percentage of whatever is recouped from E-rate. He further suggested that the TWG definitely look at hooking the libraries up in the I-Net plan because that portion of the connectivity could be E-rated.

 

Mr. Samantello expressed concern about having the school district be the lead on the project considering the political movements going on in the school district and the possibility that the school district may not do any fiber network this year. He also suggested that if Sunesys or Paxio does submit a plan which could result in a reduction in the school district's ongoing costs, he could not imagine the district not choosing one of those plans as part of the district's decision matrix. He explained that the "decision matrix" is required by E-rate. It must show how the decision was made to choose a particular service, and the most important part of that has to be the cost. He noted that the decision matrix is made available for review by all interested parties.

 

Mr. Ferrier pointed out that allowing access to the fire stations would require some kind of access agreement between the users of the system, which would be the school districts and the City, and he was not sure how easy it would be to get, considering the political ramifications involved between the school district board of trustees and the City.

 

Mr. Samantello disagreed, noting that the access agreement would be between the City and whatever company needed access in order to provide the service, and that the school district would not be installing, operating, or maintaining the service -- they would be purchasing the service.

 

Chair Burtner also noted that the school districts cannot own the equipment under E-rate, so the point was moot, and he did not want the group getting bogged down in a discussion of who should take what lead until they had a chance to see what sort of bids the school districts received.

 

Moving on, Chair Burtner reminded the group that at the last meeting it was suggested that the TWG possibly create a draft ROI and an RFP for the City's consideration. In response to that, Thad Sandford produced a draft RFP, which had been distributed to the TWG members via email by Chair Burtner.

 

Chair Burtner asked Mr. Sandford to provide the group with a summary of the ROI's highlights. Mr. Sandford explained that in creating the ROI he started with three pieces of information: (1) project cost for the total network for the City and schools ($2.5 million), which is an investment; (2) current costs for both the City and the school districts for the services currently received ($470,000); and (3) projected cost for providing the same services ($318,000). He noted that the $318,000 figure would be good for at least 10 years (a flat rate). With these figures, various assumptions were applied, which resulted in potential accumulated savings in today's dollars of $2.5 million in 10 years; but using present value, 14 years. And at the end of 20 years, accumulated savings would be in excess of $9 million. And that's a worst case scenario.

 

Mr. Sandford explained different scenarios used different data, but all resulted in considerable savings to the City and school districts in the future. Mr. Samantello expressed concern, noting that he believed Mr. Sandford's estimates were too conservative and did not take all costs into consideration -- the underlying infrastructure, for example. Chair Burtner noted that there are many inputs and scenarios, but most of them, with the proposed system, would represent savings and would be favorable. Mr. Stover thanked Mr. Sandford for what he considered the best representation of the data they had seen to date. Chair Burtner concurred.

 

Chair Burtner also expressed his thanks to Mr. Sandford for his work in producing the draft RFP for the TWG's consideration. Mr. Sandford indicated he would welcome any improvements or corrections to the RFP which the group might have, specifically with respect to the technical requirements for the different users. Chair Burtner suggested that the members email their comments to Mr. Sandford, and send a copy to the Chair.

 

Ms. Hall pointed out that the demand for increased bandwidth and the applications it supports continues to increase, and the TWG does not need to prove that this project is needed – it is. It's a matter of the TWG convincing the right people to move forward with the project – meaning all parties buying into doing what is needed to be done. She noted that Fullerton prides itself on being the educational community, and if the City takes the lead, so be it, but the City would hope that the school district would be a part of it, and it would be undertaken by both parties for the benefit of the entire community – that it's a great project to do for the City, and a win-win for everyone.

 

2. Citywide wireless

 

Chair Burtner distributed to the TWG members a copy of the proposed presentation to be made to Council January 15, but before doing a run-through of the presentation, he expressed his concern with what he said were comments he continues to hear – namely, the City doesn't have any money to do any of these things. Chair Burtner asked Mr. Ferrier, if that was the case, if the City has no money and no will to do the project, then why should the TWG go through the exercise of doing the research and bringing the project to the City for implementation. He further noted that a considerable amount of work had been done by the TWG, but it seems to be met with resistance by the City, and there appears to be very little interest in sitting down and discussing how to make this project work, or any interest in working through the problems.

 

Mr. Ferrier explained that the TWG was created to provide advice to the City on all things technology. Its function, its role, is that of an advisory body. It provides advice on its field of expertise to the City Council, and then the Council chooses whether or not they want to take action on the committee's advice.

 

With that said, Chair Burtner proceeded to run through the PowerPoint slides that would be presented to Council. The presentation will discuss wireless options for the City that the TWG has discussed and recommendations strategies that it is proposing at this time.

 

After a lengthy discussion on presentation format and content, Ms. Hall agreed to make the final adjustments to the slide presentation and forward to Chair Burtner, TWG members, and Mr. Ferrier for final review.

 

ITEMS FOR NEXT MEETING

To be determined.

 

PUBLIC COMMENTS

None

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

None

 

ADJOURNMENT

With no further business, Chair Burtner asked for a motion to adjourn. The motion to adjourn was made by Helen Hall and seconded by Carl Samantello. The meeting was adjourned at 10:37 a.m. with unanimous approval. The next meeting date was set for January 31.

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