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Nebraska Information Technology Commission
Thursday, July 29, 1999, 1:30 p.m.
University of Nebraska East Campus Union

Approved Minutes

Members Present

Linda Aerni (Alternate for Michael Nolan) Stu Miller, Department of Economic Development
Reba Benschoter, UNMC Rick Nolan, Children's Hospital
Len Benson (Alternate for Donna Hammack) Jeanne Saathoff, Kearney Public Library
Tyler French, Ameritrade Bruce Thiel (Alternate for Rick Nolan)
Gene Hand (Alternate for Anne Boyle, PSC) Bob Sweeney, AIM Institute
Lance Hedquist, City of South Sioux City Ted Schultz, Nebraska Association of Hospitals
Ron Heezen, Omaha Public Library Ted Smith, Norfolk Library
Gary Kiel, PKS System Integrated Ann Stephens, Keene Memorial Library
Jim Lowe, Midwest Microsystems Gary Warren, Hamilton Telecommunications

Members Absent

Jim Beatty, NCS International Judi Morgan, Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs
Dave Hunter, City of Holdrege Russ Pankonin, Imperial Republican
Gerry Kluch, Kaystar Seed Greg Robinson, Nebraska Cooperative Government
Tim Lowenstein, NACO Craig Schroeder, Nebraska Rural Development Commission


The meeting was called to order by Co-Chair Lance Hedquist at 1:35. Council members and guests introduced themselves. Mr. Hedquist asked for corrections and/or additions to the May 27th minutes. Dr. Benschoter motioned to approve the minutes. The motion was seconded by Mr. Lowe. All were in favor. Motion was carried.

Mr. Hedquist brought attention to two articles he wanted to share with the members. Mr. Hedquist felt the articles were pertinent to the Council's role. Ms. Byers will put links to the articles on the website.

PUBLIC COMMENT: Guests were given the opportunity for public comment. None was given. The following guests wanted their names entered into the minutes: Kit Keller, Library Commission; Sue Volk, Midwest Microsystems (alternate for Jim Lowe); and Roger Hahn, Nebraska Information Networks.

NITC UPDATE - Michael Winkle, Executive Director:

Mr. Winkle reported that the following actions were taken at the June 29th meeting of the Nebraska Information Technology Commission:

  • Approval of the "Policies and Procedures for Preparing the Statewide Technology Plan"
  • Approval of the NITC goals
  • Approval of the Community Council's Sector Priorities
  • Approval of the Community Council's Charter with minor changes. The Commission recommended that the membership of Resource Providers be brought back to the NITC for review and changed the quorum to 50%. Commissioner Kosman wanted geographical diversity in the membership of the councils.
  • Reappointment of the Executive Director for FY99-00

The Policies and Procedures are no longer a draft document. The draft of the Statewide Technology Plan will soon be posted to the web. The outline for the plan was included as part of the policies and procedures on the last page of the document. Part I will include a vision statement, the NITC goals, council sector priorities with documentation as appendices. All the councils will be actively involved in developing Parts 2 and 5 of the plan. Mr. Winkle encouraged the members to visit the website for on-going changes to the document.

Senators Bromm and Wehrbein shared their insights on the NITC and the review criteria. The Senators and the NITC agreed to continue discussions.


Jeff Grimes is moving out of state and has resigned from the Council. Ms. Byers reviewed the document that indicated the membership breakdown per sector. Alternates have not been designated in many of the sectors. Sectors that need more representation are Agriculture and Local Government.

Agriculture. Mr. Schultz moved to recommend Diane Becker as an Agriculture representative. Mr. Benson seconded the motion. All were in favor. Motion carried. Ms. Stevens moved to correspond with the Farm Bureau asking for a recommendation for the Agriculture sector. Mr. Schultz seconded the motion. All were in favor. Motion carried. Two more alternates are needed for this sector.

Local Government. Council members Lowenstein, Robinson and Hunter have been unable to any of the six meetings this year. It was recommended by the group to change their membership to serve as alternates and to include two more representatives. Three more alternates are needed for this sector.

Business. Council member Beatty has not attended a Council meeting in over year, but expressed interest remaining on the council. It was recommended by the group that he serve as an alternate.

Libraries. This sector has four representatives. Three more alternates are needed.

Health. This sector has four representative and four alternates.

Resource. The Rural Development Commission, Public Service Commission, and the Department of Economic Development have agreed to serve on the council as resource providers. Gary Warren was named as an at-large member. It was recommended to send correspondence to the Indian Commission regarding their interest in serving on the Council.

Providers as Resources. A discussion occurred about the role of providers on the Council. Ms. Aerni moved to include providers as a sector on the Community Council. Mr. Hand seconded the motion. Roll Call Vote: Benschoter-No, Hand-Yes, French-No, Benson-No, Hedquist-No, Heezen-No, Kiel-No, Lowe-No, Aerni-Yes, Thiel-No, Saathoff-No, Schultz-No, Smith-Yes, Stephens-No, Sweeney-No, Warren-Yes. Motion was denied. Mr. Hedquist requested that Mr. Winkle report this to the NITC.

Mr. Schafer informed the Council that we would be willing to have staff explore the issue of incorporating providers in the technology plan. He will organize a meeting of this group.

During the break, Ms. Byers and Ms. Lopez Urdiales drew names for term-lengths. The results of the term length drawings:

Health: Donna Hammack--2 years, Reba Benschoter--2, Ted Schultz-3, Rick Nolan--3

Libraries: Jeanne Saathoff--3, Ann Stephens--2, Ted Smith--3, Ron Heezen--2

Business: AIM/Bob Sweeney--3, Tyler French--3, Gary Kiel--2, Russ Pankonin--2

Agriculture: Gerry Kluch--3, Jim Lowe--3, new members (TBA) will have two-year terms

Local Government: Lance Hedquist--3, Michael Nolan--3, new members (TBA) will have two-year terms

Resource: Gary Warren (at large)--2, Craig Schroeder, Rural Development Commission--indefinite, Anne Boyle, Public Service Commission--indefinite, Stu Miller, Department of Economic Devolopment--indefinite

NIDCAC - Ron Bowmaster, Division of Intergovernmental Data Services:

NIDCAC (Nebraska Intergovernmental Data Communications Advisory Council) has been in existence since 1987. It conducts feasibility studies and makes recommendations to the legislature. Some of the projects that have resulted include: voter registration, budget reporting, child support reinforcement, and motor vehicle title and registration. Senator Wehrbein proposed LB731 to address the technology need of local governments. Although the bill did not pass, NIDCAC promised Senator Wehrbein that they would undertake a study of the technology needs of rural governments. NIDCAC invited the Community Council to be involved in the study. It was decided by group consensus that the Community Council will take part ownership of the study. A sheet was passed around for members to sign-up if they were interested on serving on the committee. Ted Schultz, Ann Stephens, Gary Kiel, and Lance Hedquist will serve on the committee.

ACTION PLAN - Anne Byers, Community Information Technology Manager:

Ms. Byers conducted a brainstorming on for the action plan. Mr. Schultz distributed a document to members regarding the need to develop a telehealth business plan. Due to time constraints, Mr. Winkle suggested that staff compile the list and send out to members prior to the next meeting for discussion. Mr. Kiel also suggested looking at ideas discussed by the group prior to today's meeting. Some of the topics included the following:

  • Foster grassroots Information Technology Committees and bring them together

  • Sharing infrastructure and resources in communities

  • Injecting public funds into a privately owned entity network - (ie. Community Development Block Grants)

  • Increase teleliteracy/fluency (*Roving Computer Lab)

  • Collaboration in training efforts

  • Survey - teleliteracy needs assessment

  • Career development and career education - (School to work) - Tie to Education Council

  • Inventory of learning opportunities

  • Identify base skills levels

  • Criteria for skill levels - for both end users and builders

  • Bridge gap between users and techies

  • Crisis response - Support rural communities (especially agricultural communities)

    • telework

    • career link

    • career links (regional)

  • Single e-mail system for state government

  • Create vision for the state

  • Establish measurement of info tech productivity (economic indicators)

  • Work with legislature to enact necessary laws to allow for telehealth (licensure, reimbursement, liability)

  • Address funding for high speed access

  • Develop and promote library services to remote rural Nebraska and underserved areas


Ms. Byers asked the group to think about what they would like to do this year with monies provided through the Community Technology Fund. The Council can recommend to the NITC how these monies are to be used - grant proposals, special projects, etc. Council members are to send their ideas to Anne for discussion at the next meeting. A subcommittee was formed to discuss this issue and bring back recommendations to the next meeting. Subcommittee members included Jeanne Saathoff, Gary Kiel, Kit Keller, Donna Hammack (invited) and Lance Hedquist. Ms. Byers will organize a telephone conference call for the meeting.

The Southeast Nebraska Development District Tele-Training for Emergency Responders project received funding in Round 1 of the Community Technology Fund. Because Health and Human Services is now funding EMT training, the project has been unable to generate revenue from participant fees to use as a cash match. The project has been asked to redefine the scope of work for the project and submit a new budget, but the office has not received any of the requested information. Ample time has been given to the project to complete the task. Mr. Heezen moved to suspend the grant. Mr. Kiel seconded the motion. All were in favor. Motion carried.


The next meeting will be Thursday, August 26th. Staff will check on teleconference meeting sites. The meeting was adjourned by co-chair Mr. Hedquist at 4:45 p.m.

Minutes taken by Lori Lopez Urdiales, CIO/NITC Administrative Assistant and reviewed by Anne Byers, Community I.T. Manager, CIO/NITC.

Meeting Minutes