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May 18, 2007, 10:00 a.m.-12:00 Noon CT
Governor's Residence-Lower Level Meeting Room
1425 H Street, Lincoln, Nebraska

MEMBERS AND ALTERNATES PRESENT: Stacey Aldrich, Scott Bovick, Don Costello, Norene Fitzgerald, John Jordison, Lynn Manhart, Brad McPeak, Michael Nolan, Ted Smith, Gene Hand, and Steve Williams.

MEMBERS ABSENT: Chris Anderson, K.C. Belitz, Linda Fettig


Mr. Smith called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.  Roll call was taken. There were ten members present. A quorum existed to conduct official business. It was stated that the meeting announcement was posted on the NITC and the Nebraska Public Meeting Web sites on April 26, 2007. The agenda was posted May 14, 2007.


Ms. Costello move to approve the January 24, 2007 minutes as presented.  Mr. Jordison seconded.  Roll call vote: Aldrich-Yes, Bovick-Yes, Costello-Yes, Jordison-Yes, Manhart-Yes, McPeak-Yes, Nolan-Yes, Smith-Yes, Hand-Yes, and Williams-Yes.  Roll call vote:  Yes-10, No-0.  Motion carried.


There was no public comment.

Anne Byers, Community I.T. Manager

The first meeting of the eHealth Council will be held on Monday, May 21st.  Agenda items will include election of co-chairs, adopting the charter and developing a work plan.  A list of members was distributed.

eHealth Clearinghouse.  The link to the clearinghouse was provided and is available on the NITC web site.  Ms. Byers welcomed any additional information members may have on other eHealth initiatives occurring in the state.

David Lawton, HHSS Public Health Surveillance

David Lawton, Administrator of Public Health Surveillance with Health and Human Services Systems, provided an overview of eHealth initiatives.   Members expressed concerns about the security of health records.

Ms. Fitzgerald arrived to the meeting.

Anne Byers, Community I.T. Manager

At the February 22nd meeting, the NITC approved the establishment of a new eHealth Council.  As a result, the Community Council’s heath and telehealth representatives have opted to resign from the Community Council.  The Community Council currently has eleven (14) active members but the Council will be losing two more members.  Stacey Aldrich is moving out of state and KC Belitz is resigning.  Members who are resigning will be acknowledged for their service on the council.

The Council discussed the recruitment of new members and possibly establishing a new sector.  Geographic distribution and representation, especially from western Nebraska, was also discussed.  Over the years, the council has been concerned about workforce development issues, including the recruitment and retention of I.T. professionals.  

Mr. Hand moved to establish a work group to further develop the workforce development concept as a new sector and recommend a slate of nominees.  Ms. Manhart seconded. Roll call vote: Aldrich-Yes, Bovick-Yes, Costello-Yes, Fitzgerald-Yes, Jordison-Yes, Manhart-Yes, McPeak-Yes, Nolan-Yes, Smith-Yes, Hand-Yes, and Williams-Yes.  Roll call vote:  Yes-11, No-0.  Motion carried.

Volunteers to serve on the nominating committee were Noreen Fitzgerald, Brad McPeak, Don Costello and Steve Williams. The nominating committee will aim to have a slate of new nominees by the June 27 NITC meeting.


Anne Byers, Community I.T. Manager

Brief demonstrations were given on the following podcasts:
South Sioux City Cardinal Cast
iTunes listing (You must have iTunes installed.)
North Platte/Lincoln County Visitors and Convention Bureau
iTunes listing
(You must have iTunes installed.)
Highway 14 Association Pop-In
Panhandle Public Health District Alliance Walking Tour

Council members discussed having a central repository for Nebraska podcasts. Members suggested distributing podcasts through other channels such as YouTube and soliciting reciprocal links from other sites.

Anne Byers, Community I.T. Manager

The NITC has $20,000 available to fund either a special project or to offer competitive mini grants. Two options were suggested – Podcasting Across Nebraska Year 2 and Mini Grants.

Podcasting Across Nebraska Year 2.  A $19,999 proposal for Podcasting Across Nebraska Year 2 was presented to the council.  Project partners would include the NITC Community Council, University of Nebraska (including Extension, New Media Center, Communications and Information Technology, and Computing Service Network), Network Nebraska, Department of Economic Development, Division of Tourism, Nebraska Lied Main Street program, and Apple Computer. The project is a continuation of the pilot project funded by the Nebraska Information Technology Commission in 2006.

Preliminary Lessons Learned from Pilot:

  • There is tremendous interest in podcasting in Nebraska communities.
  • Communities have many ideas for how to use podcasting.
  • Podcasting is relatively easy to learn. Publishing podcasts is the most difficult step. It has been invaluable to be able to host the podcasts on the Network Nebraska server. It would be difficult if each community had to find their own server.
  • It is still easier to create podcasts using an Apple computer. This presents some challenges when working with adults who are more likely to have access to computers using Windows.

Mini Grants.  Another grant funding option would be to award mini-grants.  There are limitations as to the use of these funds by statute.  For example, funds can only be awarded to public entities.  Council members discussed several options. Some suggestions were as follows:

  • Give an award to a community that has utilized I.T. to promote their community or enhance economic development, for example the use of podcasting.
  • Conduct a community I.T. needs and challenges survey.
  • Conduct a statewide conference or possibly regional conferences to promote and educate communities about I.T. and podcasting. The League of Municipalities annual meeting would have a large audience.
  • Grant monies should focus on communities under 500 or 1000 in population.

The council recommeded reconsidering the focus of the grant monies at a future meeting.

Tom Rolfes, Education I.T. Manager

Mr. Rolfes stated that the LB 1208 implementation project is a very unique project.  A handout was distributed to the Council members.  The goal is to provide all public and nonpublic K-12 and higher education entities an opportunity to connect to Network Nebraska by 2012. When the project is completed, all public high school districts in Nebraska will have 40-100Mbps IP connections.   There is no project manager.  The project is being done by persons with current full-time positions and 70-80 community volunteers. The project is being implemented in three phases:

  • Phase 1 Upgrade (ESUs 1, 2, 7, 8, 17 from Fremont to Cody/Kilgore)
  • Phase 2 Upgrade (ESUs 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16 from Hastings to west Wyoming)
  • Phase 3 Upgrade (ESUs 3, 4, 5, 6, 18, 19 from Falls City to York, including Lincoln and Omaha)


Ms. Byers will poll members as to their availability for a July meeting.

With no further business, Mr. Smith adjourned the meeting at 12:30 p.m. 



Minutes were taken by Lori Lopez Urdiales and reviewed by Anne Byers of the Office of the CIO.


Meeting Minutes