The meeting is over.  You can watch it on the VideoNorthfield youtube channel using our LiveAgenda:

This tuesday found the Trustees meeting in the new $60,000+ Boardroom.  At Call to the Public, both Mary Devlin and Candidate for Township Trustee Tawn Bellinger said the Boardroom looked wonderful.

Boardroom Seating Capacity 396w320h

The bright square reflections are from some of the $13,000+ worth of LED luminaires.

The $4,000 dais wasn't ready so the Board made do with the card tables they've met behind for the past twenty years.    The in-room audio was much improved.  The HVAC system noise was less, reduced from the roaring rumble that had made a misery out of the old meeting area on the Township Hall's north side.  But that came with a trade-off.  There were only 38 audience chairs.  On May 25th, seating capacity was officially deemed to be 137.

The audio-video equipment was only partially functional.  It incorporated no way to evaluate the quality of the video/audio broadcast to Charter.  The only TV we could monitor was at the opposite end of the building, 200 feet away.  We could close the loop on the Livestream video but the wired headphones that would have allowed us to monitor Livestream's audio quality had long ago been appropriated by the Township manager to allow Wayne Dockett to participate in closed session meetings downstairs in the Township Offices.  The result of this SNAFU was audio that sounded great over the public address system but which was barely audible on TV, Charter cable channel 191.  It was slightly louder on livestream.  My wife messaged me about this several minutes after the meeting began.   I nudged up the only identifiable gain control but was basically flying blind.   Obviously, all these problems will be resolved.

This morning I posted a repaired version of the meeting video on VideoNorthfield.  We separated the audio track from the video and increased the volume by 36 dB for the meeting's first fifteen minutes, 30 dB for the rest.  We also converted it to stereo.  After that post-processing, it sounds great.  The file was too large to post as a Livestream account update.  VideoNorthfield on Youtube is your only option.

The new main video camera had been wall mounted 20 inches from the main HVAC duct.  Every mechanical vibration in the building seemed to pump the camera/mount system at its characteristic resonant frequency.   Doors.  The elevator.  Footsteps.  The rush of air and motor noise through the HVAC ductwork 20 inches from the wall and camera.  Throughout the meeting video, this vibration is visible as a vertical, somewhat damped oscillation.  I was told that on the cable TV feed it was almost pukeworthy.   If you have the photosensitive variant of epilepsy, I suggest not watching any meetings until this problem is resolved.

Part way through the meeting I found out that the camera Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) control software, a demo version that I already knew would shut itself off permanently after two weeks, would also shut itself off temporarily after running for 3 hours.  That's life in the cheap seats.  Luckily, it restarted with none of the instance variables (positions, calibrations) wiped out.  If you can withstand the dizzying zooming around aspect, the PTZ cameras work pretty well.  They are fast and responsive.  Two cameras and camera feeds aimed at the Board desks would make it a lot more pleasant to watch discussions and conversation, though. 

The Township's h.264 uplink to LiveStream carries 768 x 432 pixel video frames.  This is much improved over the previous versions of Township video but still a degraded version of the camera source signal, an HD standard 1920 x 1080.  The computer handling the h.264 encoding and uplink regularly flashed warnings as it exceeded 80% of CPU cycle utilization.   It is operating more or less at its breaking point.  Hosting the virtual interface for both the video switcher and PTZ camera controller constituted part of the load.  Mr. Fink has been informed that the 4GB of RAM with which that Hex-Core Xeon computer came equipped is insufficient.  Xeons were designed to operate in parallel.  I believe this computer has a spare slot for another processor on its motherboard.  Whether it is cheaper to upgrade the existing four year old computer with an additional processor and another chunk of memory or to simply replace the entire setup with a newer, faster pc is the question.  Last I looked the memory modules were over $280 as pulls, i.e., used components.

Enough about the technical issues.


[report in progress]

On tonight's Agenda, the Road Commission contract, Township 2016-2017 budget, Fund balances, Van Curler environmental testing, Secret stuff at the closed session. 


[Meeting Documents]

Here are the financial reports, rotated-upright so they can actually be read, from the meeting packet:

Here are the other included document collections, broken out: