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Home August 20, 2003 Agenda & Minutes
MEETING: Maine Library of Geographic Information Board
1. Approval of July 16, 2003 Board Minutes
Sample GeoLibrary Internet products at these URLs
GeoLibrary Board Meeting of August 20, 2003
Board Members Present
1. John Holden, Chair
2. Ed Suslovic, State Representative & Board Co-Chair
3. Robert Faunce, Statewide Association of Counties
4. Jon Giles, City of Portland
5. Marilyn Lutz, UMaine
6. Jim Page, James W. Sewall
7. Barbara Charry, Maine Audubon Society
8. Will Mitchell, Mitchell Geographics
9. Tom Asbeck, Photo Science, Inc
10. Paul Mateosian, Municipal Government
11. Dick Thompson, CIO
12. Bob Doiron, Maine Revenue Services
13. Dennis Boston, Central Maine Power
14. Ray Halperin, Dept. of Transportation
Staff to the Board Present
Dan Walters, DAFS/BIS – Staff to the Board
Larry Harwood, DAFS/BIS – Staff to the Board
Tom Howker, Bureau of Information Services
Don Hildebrand, Office of the CIO
Kirsten Boetteher, Orbis Mapping Solutions
Greg Miller, Maine Forest Service
Don Garrold, Town of Searsport
Jill Cogswell, Division of Purchases
Terry DeMerchant, Division of Purchases
Betty Lamoreau, Director Division of Purchases
Item #1: Approval of July 16, 2003 Board Minutes – John Holden, Chair
John Holden, Board Chair, opened the meeting asking everyone to introduce themselves. Following introductions, John asked for comments regarding the minutes of the July 16th GeoLibrary Board meeting. Dick Thompson, at this time, offered a recommendation to change the reading of paragraph 7 on page 5. The last sentence currently reads “Agreed by all, the Board needs to get on with its other business/assignments.” Change to read: “While agreed by all that the Board needs to move forward with its business/assignments, the Board determined it could not dismiss this issue.” A motion was made, moved and seconded to approve the minutes with the recommended change. By a vote of hands, the Board unanimously voted and approved the minutes with recommended change.
Item #2: Draft Letter to USGS
John Holden distributed and read a draft letter he wrote to USGS acknowledging the work USGS and MLGI are doing in the creation of Maine’s new orthoimagery. The letter also expresses the Board’s interest in exploring the use of new technologies and support of Maine businesses in the pursuit of USGS and MLGI projects for the future.
Jim Page, acknowledging the history of why the Board asked the Chair to draft this letter, raised the question as to why the Board was sending this letter now, if at all. It was felt there would be no harm in sending the letter; basically the Board was making the comment to support Maine businesses. Ray felt the letter was an accurate representation of the discussion that took place and agreed with Jim’s comments. However, he felt there was no harm in sending the letter to support Maine businesses. A question was raised if USGS would know what to do with the letter once they received it. Basically, the letter talks about the future of doing business and that no action is being requested of USGS.
Dick Thompson recommended some minor changes to the letter to send the message that the Board supports Maine businesses and the letter is not vendor specific. With a motion made, so moved, and seconded to send the letter, 12 Board members, by a show of hands, voted in favor of sending the letter. Two (2) Board members abstained. John Holden will prepare the final letter and send it out.
Item #3: Status of letter to GPCOG outlining the outcome of the Board’s vote at the July 16th meeting.
John, Board Chair, distributed to Board members a draft of the letter to be sent to GPCOG. Dick Thompson commented that he and John Holden had talked with Neal Allen over the phone. In the letter, John mentioned that he felt the issue had not been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction and would ask the Board to set up an ad hoc subcommittee to meet with Neal and review the history of this issue, review and document GPCOG’s financial stake and potential loss, and recommend to the Board the degree of appropriate compensation, if any.
Dick explained the reason for following the hearing process in place, provided by law, was to resolve the letter sent to Commissioner Wyke. Dick talked about the process requiring a formal hearing, advertising the hearing, and opening the hearing to the public. Once the hearing is completed, the subcommittee members would come back to the Board with their recommended resolution for approval/disapproval. Dick noted that the Commissioner would not be responding to the GPCOG letter.
At this time, Jim Page noted that the draft letter presented to the Board members was not the letter requested from the Board at the July meeting. At this time, board members reviewed page 5 and 6 of the July 16th minutes noting what was to be included in the letter. “At this time a suggestion was made to have the Chair send a letter to GPCOB communicating the vote of the Board from this meeting. A motion followed, and was seconded, to have the Chair send letter describing the action by the Board. Dick Thompson agreed to brief Commissioner Wyke on this action. Suggested working for the letter to GPCOG: The Board, in reviewing your letter to the Commissioner, entertained a motion to set up a subcommittee to negotiate a compromise on the amount of money GPCOG has requested for payment. The Board (by law) is required to have seven (7) affirmative votes to pass any action by the Board. The Board failed to acquire these seven votes, therefore, the motion failed.”
It was mentioned that there is a formal process in place for dispute resolutions and the Board should have focused on this process and not so much on discussing the issue at hand. At this time, John Holden agreed to rewrite the letter according to the Board’s request at the July 16th meeting and send it out.
Dick Thompson was asked to read the process in place which allows the Board to hear and resolve disputes. Dick read the following:
§1890-K. Maine Library of Geographic Information Board
G. To hear and resolve disputes that may arise between data custodians or with respect to information to be placed in the Maine Library of Geographic Information, enforcement of geographic information board standards, rules or policies or other related matters, all in accordance with the Maine Administrative Procedure Act. Complainants may directly present their case to the geographic information board, which has the power to hold investigations, inquiries and hearings concerning matters brought to its attention and to make decisions with respect to the case. All interested parties must be given reasonable notice of the hearing and an opportunity to be heard. Hearings must be open to the public;
It was noted the purpose of the hearing would be to gather facts, documents, and testimony, review all information provided at the hearing, and bring a recommended resolution to the Board for a final decision. Dick volunteered to run the hearing and the Chair would set up a subcommittee of 3 or 5 Board members (preferably 3).
Ed Suslovic noted that it was important for the Board to put this to rest noting the credibility of the Library and using the process in place to do it right. The Board needs to get some resolution and move forward with its agenda.
Concerns/questions raised by Board members included:
At this time, Ed Suslovic made a motion to convene a subcommittee, notify GPCOG, and conduct hearing as soon as possible. The motion was seconded.
Again, it was noted that a written fact finding report would be brought to the Board with a recommendation from the Subcommittee. Ray Halperin asked that a special Board meeting be scheduled to hear the results of the hearing. Board agreed. Dick noted that the Board can put parameters on what the subcommittee does. Dick noted the need to show validity for the dispute, presenting the facts, and the subcommittee making a recommendation to the Board. All the facts need to be sorted out. Ray Halperin mentioned the need for the Board to give direction to the subcommittee, the need to hear from Global Explorer – did they have the right to sell the data? Does GPCOG have a valid claim? Can GPCOG show ownership?
In working to resolve this discussion, Ed Suslovic commented that 3 subcommittee members would be sufficient to resolve this issue and resolve it as soon as possible. With a show of hands, Board members voted unanimously to accept Ed’s original motion made earlier in the meeting “Ed Suslovic made a motion to convene a subcommittee, notify GPCOG, and conduct hearing as soon as possible. The motion was seconded.”
In closing this discussion, John Holden, Board Chair, asked for volunteers for the hearing subcommittee. Those who volunteered were: Ray Halperin, Dick Thompson (to run the hearing), Ed Suslovic, Jim Page, Tom Asbeck, and Jon Giles. John will make the selections and contact folks by end of week.
Item #4: Local & municipal governments purchasing under state contracts: URL available for this information.
Dick Thompson commented on having personnel present from the Division of Purchases to respond to the Board’s questions regarding purchasing off state contracts. He proceeded to introduce Betty Lamoreau, Director for the Division of Purchases (Betty M. Lamoreau, Director, Division of Purchases, 9 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0009, Tel: 207-624-7332 or E-mail email@example.com). Betty proceeded to introduced Jill Cogswell firstname.lastname@example.org and Terry DeMerchant email@example.com who are responsible for the procurement process as it relates to tracking, recording, and working with communities/groups/individuals on the purchasing process.
It was noted that the state currently owns a software license with ASAP and the details for purchasing are available from the Purchasing E-Catalog http://www.maine.gov/purchase/. Municipalities are welcome to join by getting in touch with Jill Cogswell at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those participating in buying from state contracts would have to be issued a user ID and password for access to the E-Catalog. Terry noted that other states were also part of the ASAP contract such as MA, MD, NY, RI.
It was noted that the current ESRI contract being negotiated between the GIS Executive Committee and ESRI should include municipalities, local government agencies as well as state agencies interested in purchasing off the contract. Ray Halperin noted that ESRI negotiations are a current action item and the folks involved in the negotiations would need to know how many and what set of numbers to include in the negotiations. He noted that time frame for this information would be October. Dan Walters also noted that MeGIS is currently canvassing state agencies for what they need now and need five years from now. The Board needs to reach out to its constituents regarding potential interest in this state purchasing process. Also noted, was the need to get the word out to municipalities of this state contract purchasing availability.
A question was raised on possibly getting a report from ASAP on current municipal activities. The response to this question was yes such a report could be obtained. Ed Suslovic asked about finding out who is doing what in GIS, what kind of savings, benefits, percent of savings are available from state contract purchasing.
John Holden noted the need for establishing a comprehensive stakeholders' mailing list (Item #8 of the agenda) using the Users Group listing, Resolve 23, and other available resources. He recommended sending out an E-mail/letter informing folks of this opportunity and giving instructions on how to get back to someone. John asked if this would be a feasible approach to let folks know. It was agreed that more information is needed from municipalities/local governments to negotiate a price with ESRI. Ed Suslovic mentioned the need to include key legislative committees to bring them the awareness of GIS in Maine and the activities/accomplishments of the GeoLibrary Board. John Holden agreed to work with Dan Walters and Larry Harwood to get this information out.
Item #5: Report on the Subcommittee for Municipal Grants
Jon Giles reported on the subcommittee’s ongoing activities to include: eligible applicants & activities, priorities & objectives, level of grants, match requirements and efficiency incentives. Some of the items of discussion at the meetings (held after the GeoLibrary Board meetings) include:
Jon ended the discussion by saying that Larry Harwood would draft a program statement for review. Dick Thompson said the Administrative Committee is scheduled to meet September 17th.
Item #6: Update of the USGS project
Dan Walters reported that the National Conservation Research Service (NCRS) contributed $400,000 to the orthoimagery project. Dan also talked about looking for available monies from other resources including meeting with FEMA to talk about plans. Also reported USGS would be filling in the gap for 2003 orthoimagery. On a positive note, the ORTHO-HF (formerly CITIPIX) data has been loaded on the system and being accessed widely by state agencies.
Dan also shared with the Board that the Dept. of Environmental Protection volunteered to re-tile and compress the data for easier access. Jon Giles asked if the data was available for public access, response being that it was set up as a preliminary site (viewing site only) and would be downloadable in about a month. At this time, Ray Halperin brought to the Board’s attention the need to think about marketing and PR (rollout and promote). John Holden mentioned the need for a GeoLibrary website (portal), and the need for a registered domain was also brought up. Dan was asked to bring to the next meeting the USGS dollar amounts (cost) and their schedule.
Item #7: Status of Technical Subcommittee on Infrastructure, Interoperability, and Interface
Will Mitchell reported on the name of the subcommittee to be “Technical Subcommittee on Infrastructure, Interoperability, and Interface (TSIII)”. The committee members did come to a consensus to have MeGIS handle the infrastructure. The Interface would be handled by the GeoLibrary portal for delivery to the public. Subcommittee will work with Dan Walters to review work plans. Will also commented on the FCDC matching grant giving the subcommittee $50,000 to work with. The subcommittee is also working on its charter. The next meeting is scheduled for September 17th at 9:00 am in the Burton M. Cross Building (for more information please contact Will). Also up for discussion is the content – What goes in the library, What will the format be? How will data be stored? How will data be delivered (state agencies vs. broader clientele)? John Holden commented on the content being tied to standards. The TSIII subcommittee will work on registering a domain for the Maine Library of Geographic Information and report back to the Board.
Item #8: Establish a comprehensive stakeholders’ mailing list
This agenda item was included for discussion as part of Item #4. Work will begin on setting up a stakeholders' mailing list from User Groups, Resolve 23, Tax Assessors E-mail addresses received from a recent meeting Dan Walters attended, and other available resources.
Item #9: Other Business
Development Tracking Project – Mary Ann Hayes reported working with MeGIS and putting together a strategic plan for GeoLibrary Board review. She also inquired about keeping this project as a State Planning Office project or would the Board’s preference be to adopt under the Board’s umbrella. This project has started and is happening. Mary Ann was asked to bring an update at the September 17th meeting.
Tax Assessor Workshop at Thomas College – Dan Walters reported that MeGIS did a GIS presentation, to include the GeoLibrary, at the workshop which was well received.
Study impact on statewide system for electronic filing of deeds – Ed Suslovic reported that the Legislature is meeting in September and would inquire about what it is they are asking to be done.
APA review of proposed Digital Parcel Standards – Dan Walters reported a plan is in place and this task is on the front burner.
Next round of bond issues and long-term funding – Ed Suslovic commented on the need to bring the GIS focus to the current Administration and working to bring the Administration on board in support of.
Discussions included budget setting done by the Commissioner of Administration & Financial Services (Commissioner Becky Wyke) and the Commissioner having direct impact as BIS/GIS and the CIO’s office report directly to the Commissioner. It was also noted that the State Planning Office does request information from state agencies to prepare bond packages.
Tom Howker reported that the Board needs to put together its annual report of its activities accomplished. Jon Giles asked whether or not state departments could do a sales pitch within their own environment. How can the State help support the GeoLibrary’s duties designated by law?
A discussion on the budgetary needs to support MeGIS included the SLA contributions made by various state agencies and WAN rates being paid to BIS. Approximately $400,000 is needed annually to support the infrastructure.
Ed Suslovic stressed the need to pull together stakeholders and bring awareness to the current Administration and Legislature. A question was asked if Governor Baldacci had seen any GIS presentations with a response of no.
John Holden and Ed Suslovic will pull together an annual report of the GeoLibrary Board for the Board’s review.
Mary Ann Hayes reported on the successful outcome of the GIS data CDs that have been prepared and available to municipalities. She also talked about the GeoLibrary’s commitments, the GIS data CDs being a real concrete product, and the need for setting standards. For a more detailed report on the GIS data CDs please visit this URL http://www.maine.gov/bis/planningcds.htm.
John Holden reviewed with the Board some agenda items for the September 17th meeting. 1) budget review from Dan, 2) status report from the Technical Subcommittee on Infrastructure, Interoperability, and Interface, and 3) GeoLibrary annual report (to be drafted by John and Ed (Chair and Co-Chair).
Before closing the meeting, Ray Halperin volunteered to take comments on a logo for the GeoLibrary. Ed commented the need to make a splash and get the information out there.
John, Board Chair, stated a special meeting would be set up for the Board to review the fact finding report, hear the recommendation from the Subcommittee resulting from the upcoming hearing on the GPCOG issue, and vote on the recommendation.
A motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting at 1:40 p.m.
NOTE: Next meeting will be held Wednesday, September 17, 2003 from 10:30 – 12:30 in Conf Room 107 of the Burton M. Cross Building.
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