Gary me­dia depart­ment to get funds for equip­ment

Post Tribune (Sunday) - - News - By Gre­gory Te­jeda Post-Tri­bune

The Gary Com­mon Coun­cil gave its ap­proval Tues­day to a trans­fer of just over $9,700 within the city bud­get to pro­vide ad­di­tional money for the city’s me­dia depart­ment to buy new equip­ment that will be used for the broad- casts of mu­nic­i­pal govern­ment hear­ings on the city’s ca­ble ac­cess tele­vi­sion chan­nel.

The or­di­nance call­ing for the fund trans­fer from “ma­chin­ery and equip­ment” to “me­dia” was one that was in­tro­duced be­fore the Com­mon Coun­cil. It was for­warded to the full coun­cil for a fi­nal vote with­out first hav­ing been stud­ied by the coun­cil’s Fi­nance com­mit­tee.

Had it gone to com­mit­tee, a re­view would not have oc­curred un­til their Fri­day night meet­ing, and a fi­nal vote would have been de­layed un­til Nov. 20.

Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Ron­ald Brewer, who spon­sored the or­di­nance, said he be­lieved the is­sue was a pri­or­ity that jus­ti­fied im­me­di­ate ac­tion, and Coun­cil­woman Mary Brown, D-3rd, agreed with him.

Coun­cil mem­bers voted with­out op­po­si­tion to sup­port the fund trans­fer, which to­taled $9,739.88. Three coun­cil mem­bers, Michael Protho, Carolyn Rogers and Ra­gen Hatcher, were ab­sent.

C o u n c i l wo m a n Re - becca Wy­att, D-1st, ques­tioned what kinds of equip­ment usu­ally were cov­ered by the “ma­chin­ery and equip­ment” line item in the city bud­get, say­ing she feared that money for es­sen­tial items were be­ing trans­ferred.

Brewer said the line item often is used to buy com­puter equip­ment and pho­to­copy ma­chines for city agen­cies, and he also said the pur­chases for the me­dia depart­ment are meant to im­prove the tech­ni­cal qual­ity of the broad­casts that the city does of govern­ment hear­ings, in­clud­ing the Com­mon Coun­cil hear­ings them­selves on WJPN Chan­nel 4.

Brewer said that all Com­mon Coun­cil meet­ings for the re­main­der of 2018 and pos­si­bly the be- gin­ning of 2019 will be held at the Gen­e­sis Con­ven­tion Cen­ter. New leaks in the roof of City Hall were dis­cov­ered last week, and Brewer said city of­fi­cials want to en­sure a thor­ough re­pair is done be­fore they re­turn to the coun­cil cham­bers.

Brewer said the leaks be­ing re­paired now are sep­a­rate from leaks that oc­curred ear­lier in 2018, when the coun­cil was forced to move its ac­tiv­ity to lo­ca­tions around Gary for nearly three months.

Brewer said the move to the Gen­e­sis Cen­ter will en­sure work is done prop­erly.

“I don’t want us in­ter­fer­ing with their work while we con­duct our busi­ness,” he said.

Gre­gory Te­jeda is a free­lance re­porter for the PostTri­bune.

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