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Nebraska Information Technology Commission
Friday, January 7, 2000, 10:00 a.m.
Video Conference Sites: Lincoln, Kearney, Norfolk, and Omaha
Meet-me-Bridge Conference Call



Kearney Site: Donna Hammack, Russ Pankonin,Jeanne Saathoff, Craig Schroeder, Ted Smith,
Lincoln Site: Stu Miller, Lance Hedquist
Norfolk Site: Mike Nolan
Omaha Site: Ron Heezen, Clyde Tyndall
Meet Me Bridge Call: Reba Benschoter, Bob Sweeney, Sue Volk, Gary Warren


Anne Boyle, Tyler French, Gary Kiel, Gerry Kluch, Rick Nolan, and Ann Stephens


Max Thacker, UNMC; Jim McKenzie, City of Norfolk, Len Benson, Faith Regional; Anne Byers, Lori Lopez Urdiales and Michael Winkle, Office of the CIO/NITC


Craig Schroeder, newly elected co-chair, called the meeting to order at 10:20 a.m. Introductions were made and roll call was taken. There were thirteen members present at the time of roll. Mr. Schroeder stated that the meeting notice was posted on NITC Web site November 1999 and on the Nebraska Public Meeting Web site on Dec. 6, 1999. The agenda was posted on NITC Web site January 3, 2000.


Mr. Schroeder asked if there were any corrections and/or additions to the minutes. Mr. Schroeder asked for a roll call vote to approve the December minutes. Roll call vote: Benschoter-Yes, Hammack-Yes, Hedquist-Yes, Heezen-Yes, Miller-Yes, Nolan-Yes, Pankonin-Yes, Saathoff-Yes, Schroeder-Yes, Schultz-Yes, Smith-Yes, Tyndall-Yes. Motion carried.


No public comments were made.

Ms. Volk and Mr. Warren joined the meet-me-bridge at 10:25 a.m.


Mr. Hedquist was presented with a certificate of appreciation signed by Lt. Governor Maurstad for his services as co-chair of the Council. Craig Schroeder was welcomed as the new co-chair. Mr. Pankonin also noted that Mr. Schroeder has accepted the position of director of the Rural Development Commission.  Mr. Tyndall, Indian Affairs Commissioner, was also welcomed as a new member to the Council.

Mr. Sweeney joined the meet-me-bridge at 10:35 a.m.


Ms. Byers reported that information on the Community Technology Fund--including applications, guidelines, list of past projects, and Frequently Asked Questions--is up on the NITC Web site.  A press release from the Lieutenant Governor Maurstad was sent out last week to local newspapers. The League of Municipalities and NACO have been contacted to publicize the information in their newsletters. The deadline for applications is February 18th. Ms. Byers has received approximately 5 inquiry calls this week. Mr. Schroeder asked for more volunteers to serve on committee along with Stu Miller and Reba Benschoter. Ms. Saathoff, Mr. Pankonin and Mr. Schroeder volunteered to serve.


Mr. Winkle reported that he has received recommendations from other entities outside of the three councils for the Statewide Technology Plan. The deadline for other entities is January 10th. The councils have each submitted five to ten action items. The Technical Panel will also submit recommendations. The first draft of the TINA Study is posted on the Division of Communications Web site. Members were encouraged to review the report. The NITC will have a working meeting on January 19th to review all the recommendations for submission in the statewide plan. The regular business meeting of the NITC will be held on January 25th, 1-5 p.m., Center for Continuing Education, Omaha Room, 33rd and Holdrege in Lincoln. Formal invitations will be sent to council members to attend the meeting. The council members will be introduced to the Commission.

The Technical Panel will be meeting next week to finalize Part 3 Technical Infrastructure. Mr. Winkle commended the councils (and their sub-committees) on their work given to the development of the plan.

Comments were shared about the TINA study. Some members would like to see more dialogue occur between the consultants, the public and communities (rural areas). Mr. Winkle reiterated that the Statewide Technology Plan is only a beginning and will continue to be built upon. Part 5 Implementation Plan will become a routine piece of business for the NITC and the councils.


Ms. Byers reviewed the following action plan items and work plan  for any last comments:

  • Develop a database of public access sites.
  • Conduct a telehealth feasibility study.
  • Co-sponsor the TINA study.
  • Determine regulatory barriers to IT development.
  • Develop a coordinated plan for addressing the information technology needs of Nebraska's rural communities.
  • Co-sponsor the NIDCAC local government study.
  • Work with insurance companies to broaden their policies to include telemedicine patient encounters as reimburseable services.

There were no corrections. Mr. Tyndall shared his concern that Nebraska tribes not get left out of policy decisions. Ms. Byers will work with Clyde to make connections and to make it clear that tribes are clear on the guidelines and eligibility for the Community Technology Funds.

The Statewide Technology Plan is an on-going process. If there are other issues in the future that members would like to be addressed, member are to inform Ms. Byers prior to a Community Council meeting so that it can be put on the agenda.


Libraries legislation. Two pieces of legislation were presented to the Council for discussion.

  • Mr. Nolan reported that the Library Commission has the support of two senators to sponsor a bill that will allow libraries to keep computer and technology equipment upgraded by allowing debt to be issued. Libraries are getting in contact with their senators for their districts to solicit support. The bill may not get passed this legislative session but Mr. Nolan would like to see it kept alive. Mr. Nolan will get will distribute a copy of the bill to members. Mr. Winkle will include this information on the Lieutenant Governor's radar scope.
  • Ms. Saathoff reported on Libraries for the 21st Century (formerly LB95)  will also be introduced. The legislation proposes the development of a shared database that all Nebraska libraries and other educational entities can access. This is a joint effort between the Nebraska Library Association and the Nebraska Library Commission. Ms. Saathoff will get a copy to Ms. Byers.

Mr. Hedquist moved to support LB95 and to consider the combination of both bills into one piece of legislation. Mr. Heezen seconded the motion.  Roll call vote: Benschoter-Not available, Hammack-Yes, Hedquist-Yes, Heezen-Yes, Miller-Yes, Nolan-Yes, Pankonin-Yes, Saathoff-Yes, Schroeder-Yes, Schultz-Yes, Smith-Yes, Tyndall-Yes, Sweeney-Not available, Warren-Yes. Motion carried.

Mr. Winkle recommended submitting this as a possible action item. Ms. Byers will draft an action plan item to be reviewed by volunteers of the Council. Members who volunteered to review the action item were Mr. Smith, Ms. Saathoff, Mr. Nolan and Mr. Hedquist.

Mr. Shroeder would like the Community Council to consider ways of increasing its visibility at a future meeting.


Discussion occurred regarding frequency of meeting and setting a regular meeting date and frequency. Members recommended meeting monthly until the TINA report is complete and current issues are fully addressed. Members liked the ability to video-conference due to travel and time restrains.  The next meeting was schedule for March 20th in Lincoln.  Beginning April 7th, the Community Council will meet every first Friday of the month from 1:30-4:30 p.m.


Mr. Warren moved to adjourn. Mr. Hedquist seconded the motion. All were in favor. Motion was carried by voice vote. Meeting was adjourned at 11:45 a.m.

Minutes were taken by Lori Lopez Urdiales and reviewed by Anne Byers of the Office of the Chief Information Officer and the Nebraska Information Technology Commission.

Meeting Minutes