RockNet Home Page   City Budget Hearing Presentation 2001

Statement to the
City of Rockville Mayor and Council on
FY2002 Funding for RockNet

May 7, 2001

Good evening Mayor Krasnow, members of the Council, and members of the city staff. My name is Bob Ekman, and I am here tonight as President of RockNet, the Rockville Community Network. We thank the City for their support in FY2001, and request that the City continue their support for RockNet in FY2002

The Rockville Community Network (RockNet) has continued to provide service to the citizens of Rockville and the City government during FY2001.  Our requests for FY2002 are modest, and are essentially a continuation of the current relation. We do not have other funding sources, at this time, but we are considering fund raising activities.

Formally, we request the following from the City of Rockville during FY2002.

  1. We would like the City to continue to provide labor for RockNet through the sharing of a full time web administrator and web server support personnel. We have tasks for a web administrator and support personnel, which will currently take about five hours a week, on average. RockNet is a volunteer non-profit organization with most members having full time jobs elsewhere. The daytime efforts of a web administrator and system support personnel are critical to the continuity of RockNet activities.
  2. We would like the City to fund up to $5000 worth of improvements to our web server. We are planning some hardware improvements to increase the responsiveness of our server.  Our e-mail list server needs to be upgraded to provide more lists for community organizations and mail archiving.  We also need to consider upgrading our operating system.  As always, RockNet and the City will participate in the selection and use of these improvements. The City and RockNet currently have a joint-shared computer system, and these improvements will directly benefit the City.
  3. To insure that all appropriate security measures have been taken, we believe it prudent to employ the service of a security expert to evaluate and improve the security of our computer systems. We think the City should do the same with their systems, and we would like to do this jointly.

To justify these requests, RockNet provides the following services to the citizens of Rockville and the City.

  1. RockNet owns and operates a web server that is focused on the needs and interests of the citizens of Rockville. We provide a collection of centralized links to Rockville business and services. For free, we host web pages for eleven Rockville community and citizen groups. Several more are in the planning stage. We permit qualified citizens to maintain the web pages for their organizations and we help them get their site up and operating. Significantly, we helped the Sister City Corporation move their site to RockNet and trained a member of the corporation to maintain it.
  2. RockNet currently hosts the City's web site on our web server. When the City moves off to their own server, RockNet will provide backup support to the City's web site.
  3. RockNet provides expert support and help to the City's departments. We participate in reviewing candidates for City technology positions. We advise the City on emerging technologies and help with their implementation.  We helped form and review the City's Information Technology Strategic Plan.
  4. RockNet is part of the City's focus on technology. We work with the Technology Action Team, and other City sponsored organizations to bring new technologies to the citizens of Rockville.

When RockNet was founded over five years ago, we had a vision of where we wanted RockNet and the City to go.  We have only come part way.  The City's Information Technology Strategic Plan addresses much of our vision.  We believe you should aggressively move out on it.  As you accomplish the items in the plan, the City will lead our communities into a more effective and efficient future.  The City will be able to provide more services to more citizens, with improved quality and response time, and with less labor and cost.

The City should address the following specific plan items in FY2002.

  1. Improve the network within in the City and out to the Internet. (1.a.)
  2. Increase the staffing for Information Technology initiatives. (2.a.)
  3. Deploy an internal web site to promote cross department information sharing. (4.d.)
  4. Revise the design of the City's Internet web site. (5.a.)
  5. Expose some of the Geographic Information System data and maps to the Internet. (1.d., 3.g., 5.c.)
  6. Establish on-line registration and payment for recreation and licensing programs. (5.d., 5.e.)

Thank you again for your support in FY2001. We welcome all that want to participate in Rockville's future through the building of the Rockville Community Network.

Respectfully submitted,

Robert W. Ekman
President, Rockville Community Network
phone: 301-340-9696

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Last Updated: April 27, 2001