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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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
To justify these requests, RockNet provides the following services to the
citizens of Rockville and the City.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Improve the network within in the City and out to the Internet. (1.a.)
- Increase the staffing for Information Technology initiatives. (2.a.)
- Deploy an internal web site to promote cross department information
- Revise the design of the City's Internet web site. (5.a.)
- Expose some of the Geographic Information System data and maps to the
Internet. (1.d., 3.g., 5.c.)
- 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
Robert W. Ekman
President, Rockville Community Network
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Last Updated: April 27, 2001