PASADENA CONSIDERING STREAMING COUNCIL MEETINGS.
Town of Pasadena considering a regular live stream broadcast of council meetings
The plethora of cat videos on YouTube and Facebook might soon have a new rival for their devout viewership, as the Town of Pasadena looks to begin offering a live video stream inside the town’s council meetings. That is, if Deputy Mayor Terry Randell’s motion is adopted, and taken up by the rest of council.
The service would seriously offer an increase in transparency between council and residents, while providing a watch- when- you- can option for residents who simply cannot attend meetings in person.
Randell says the technology is available for free to achieve live, online video streaming of council meetings. Both YouTube and Facebook offer the live streaming service, with YouTube seeming the more viable option as it allows anyone to watch with access to the web address. Residents wouldn’t have to register for an account before watching.
The initial idea came to Randell during the fall campaign cycle for the municipal election. Randell says residents wanted more information about what was happening inside the council meetings.
If Pasadena were use to a service like YouTube, the video stream would instantly be uploaded and archived on the website, following the initial airing of the live broadcast. This would give residents the opportunity to watch the meetings on their own schedule.
“People have things to do or children to look after or other things that they are committed to, so I thought live streaming would offer town residents another opportunity to view council meetings” says Randell.
Pasadena is currently in the process of performing test runs with the streaming soft- ware. Randell says a game of guess and check is at play with camera and mic placement, in attempt to achieve the best possible video quality from within the chambers. Once this is achieved, Randell would like to pursue the motion further with the rest of council. However, as of now, he says the feedback from his fellow councillors has been largely positive.
Randell also doesn’t think the service could possibly deter residents from attending council meetings in person. Especially not when they have something to say.
“From what I’ve been told, council meetings in the past year were not highly attended by the general public,” says Randell. “So, if we’re getting a few people watching this, that in itself would be a gain because that’s just extra people engaged in the process.”
Deputy Mayor Terry Randell is hopes live streaming council meetings would engage more of the community.