Board discusses taping policies
Cheltenham Township board meetings will be videotaped beginning Oct. 3, according to Acting Township Manager Bryan Havir.
The township recently purchased a video camera and lighting for just under $4,000, Havir said.
The board decided during the summer to hold off on certain administrative items so the township could fund the project, he said.
The township meetings will be taped and then appear on Channel 43 the Thursday and Saturday following the meetings, he said.
The Cheltenham Township Board of Commissioners discussed the best ways to archive the taped meetings and docu- ment meeting minutes during the Sept. 19 board meeting.
Havir recommended that the tapes EH VDvHG IRU fivH yHDUV. HH DOVR UHFommended that individuals who want a DVD of the meetings should submit a Right to Know request and pay a $25 fee for the DVD. In addition, he suggested meeting minutes be taken as sense notes, which will be an abbreviated version of the current meeting minutes. A Right to Know request will not be required for the minutes.
Havir said he polled a few local municipalities to learn how they archived their taped meetings.
Abington and Upper Moreland townships keep their taped meetings inGHfiniWHOy, wKHUHDV LRwHU DnG USSHU Merion townships keep their tapes for a year, he said. If residents want a copy of township meetings in Abington and Upper Merion they have to submit a Right to Know request and are charged a small IHH. LRwHU 0HUiRn DnG USSHU 0RUHland townships don’t require a Right to Know request and the DVDs are available at their local libraries. However, in LRwHU 0HUiRn WKH D9DV FDn DOVR EH purchased for $30.
All four townships have minute takers who either take hard copies of the minutes as sense notes or transcribe notes from the video recordings.
“There is no clear cut direction on how to do this,” Havir said.
Township Solicitor Joseph Bagley said he did not agree with Havir’s recommendation of a $25 DVD charge. He said that under the Right to Know Act, the township should charge whatever it cost to produce the DVDs.
A resident suggested the board stream the meetings live on the township website or make the DVDs available at the local libraries.
Havir said the DVDs may be available for check-out at the Elkins Park LiEUDUy, EuW iW’V VRPHWKinJ WKDW nHHGV further investigation.
Board of commissioners President Art Haywood said before the board can PDNH D finDO GHFiViRn DERuW DUFKivinJ WKH taped minutes he would like the township staff to investigate the length of time the tapes should be kept, the fee for the DVDs and if a Right to Know request is necessary and if meeting minutes should be provided in sense note form.
This issue will be discussed further at the public affairs meeting in October, he said.