PASADENA CON­SID­ER­ING STREAM­ING COUN­CIL MEET­INGS.

Town of Pasadena con­sid­er­ing a reg­u­lar live stream broad­cast of coun­cil meet­ings

The Western Star - - FRONT PAGE - SAM WESTCOTT

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.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Deputy Mayor Terry Ran­dell is hopes live stream­ing coun­cil meet­ings would en­gage more of the com­mu­nity.

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