NYState local gov't Y2K teleconference last night... Anyone go?

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Did anyone attend or see the teleconference that was held last night? I found out about it too late in the day to attend our local broadcast, but it was put on by the State of New York and was designed to help local (county, municipal, etc...) government personnel "get a handle" on the problem.

All I've been able to find on the web is this page:


more or less an advertisement.

Anyone here see it? I have been scouring local "news" papers, but no news about it, and nothing in the New York Times for today...

Any info would be appreciated!!!

-- Debbie (lavoierd@gisco.net), March 19, 1999


Hi Debbie, yep, I was at one of the teleconference sites last night. It was supposed to be for county and city officials and people in emergency services according to the registration form, but I paid my ten bucks and put "Citizen" under the "position in the community" line. Nobody kicked me out. *grin*

If you're looking for any new information on New York State status, be glad you didn't make the meeting. The only thing there was consensus on among the state presenters was that there was no money or grants available to communities to fund Y2K projects or contingency plans.

There were some interesting questions faxed and phoned in, but most of them were not really answered, just given the typical bureaucratic "around-the-topic" hogwash. One of the questioners wanted to know what the State's recommendations for individual preparation were since she was being asked about it all the time. The only answer of any substance could be paraphrased by, "Well, I think the Red Cross has come out with some recommedations and those are probably ok to use."

The State PUC (Public Utilities Commission) representative's info was a complete wash. He basically said that the utilities had given him their estimations for project completion of critical systems by July. No data, no stats, nothing else. The only thing he said that was in any way of interest was that several telecoms in the state had reported they would miss the July deadline, but would be "ready" by the end of the year.

As far as this teleconference helping communities with their projects, I could get more helpful info off the internet any day of the week. The main emphasis was on contacting vendors and trying to get them to certify their products or provide patches/upgrades.

The real bummer was that it was admitted that a community project costs quite a bit of money if you want to address embedded systems and do a professional job. Then it was also admitted that most communities don't have anything budgeted for a Y2K project and will have to "find" the money or take it out of other budgeted items.

The overall impression I got from listening to the questions sent in and watching the few other people who were at my site, was that most community people do not have the expertise or understanding to even know where to begin finding and fixing their systems, and they don't have the money to hire anybody who does.

I had gone to the teleconference more to see who was there representing our county and city than anything else. You can imagine how I felt when I discovered there was not one county or city elected official there. Not the Mayor, not any Councilmen, nada. There was a church pastor there, a couple of secretarys, I believe a man in the local fire department, and two school teachers who are working with the school computer systems. There were half a dozen others I didn't know, but I couldn't figure out why they were there in the first place because they didn't seem to be paying much attention. Maybe they were just as disappointed as I was in the quality of the "help" being offered.

As a registrant, I did receive a packet of papers containing a list of items to check for Y2K problems, grouped by departmental sections, and a bunch of other pages listing the topics to be covered by the conference. There is a little graph on one of the pages which shows the "State Priority Embedded Systems/Equipment by Category". "Building/HVAC" and "Telecommunications" had the biggest parts of the pie chart at 37% and 18% respectively. Next highest were "Security" systems and "Medical" at 13% and 12%. This graph did not cover utilities, just State government/office stuff.

I came out of the teleconference quite convinced that most N.Y. State communities are not going to do much of anything about any Year 2000 problems they might have. I also saw evidence that some people would *like* to be getting ready, but the skills and funding needed just aren't there and time is too short. The atmosphere at the site I was at would best be described as dejection.

Much as I hate to admit it, I think for the most part people are going to be on their own dealing with any problems arising in 2000.

-- Bonnie Camp (bonniec@mail.odyssey.net), March 19, 1999.


Thanks for the response & info! I scoured the local papers for an article, and watched local news, etc., for some mention of the conference, but nothing at all. I only found out the conference was being held late Thursday night when I saw a blurb about it in a paper that serves a very small town within our county.

Locally, there seems to be the usual 'Yeah, right.' attitude. I was really hoping that the state leaders would generate some concern, but it doesn't look like any got the message, at least not anyone in charge or with any amount of local celebrity.

I'm planning to phone the Community College where the conference was held; maybe the coordinator attended...

Thanks again!

-- Debbie (lavoierd@gisco.net), March 20, 1999.

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