Elkton Considers Entering Digital Age by Webcasting Meetings

The matter of whether Elkton municipal government is prepared to take a leap into the 21st century digital age had the attention of the mayor and commissioners during the Aug 12 workshop. Commissioner Jablonski first brought up this idea late last year, but since attending a Main Street Manager’s Conference focused 21st century cyberage methods for revitalizing downtowns she has consistently served as an advocate for webcasting.

Her continued support put the topic back on the agenda again and that spawned a wide ranging discussion about the pros and cons of video streaming for municipal government.  The legal ramifications worried some of the commissioners.  Others wondered about the affect the video camera might have on the conduct of the meeting, especially with comments from the “peanut gallery.” Craig’s List, Facebook, and Myspace, what’s that someone said?  After airing all the arguments, a decision was going to be stalled once again, but Commissioner Jablonski made another effort to get some movement on a final decision.   Thus the board decided to have the town attorney research the legal areas and once they received the input, it is thought that a final policy could be put in place.

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2 responses to “Elkton Considers Entering Digital Age by Webcasting Meetings

  1. Concerned Taxpayer

    I support the webcasting Town of Elkton Council meeting. Perhaps now, our elected official will be more careful with their comments and actions while on the dais.

    That being said, I am very disappointed that the Town would consider this move over providing recycling in the Town. While many many consider these two issues to be “apples and oranges,” it comes down to how my tax dollars are being spent in the Town. We have already seen, in the past year, how the Town elected officials squandered thousands of dollars in a no bid process for computer and other technical “services.”
    I would much rather see the Town taking an active role in combating climate change. Towns such as North East (considerably smaller than Elkton) already have curbside recycling.
    It’s time for Elkton answer President Obama’s call to fight/reduce climate change and to step into the 21st century by providing this service along with trash pickup BEFORE providing webcasts of council meetings.

  2. Concerned Taxpayer:

    Thanks for surfing over to Someone Noticed and posting your thought on this. We too think it is a good idea to stream the meetings. The Mayor and Commissioners are making important decisions and there is little public scrutiny these days on what they do. Not thatt there was much before, but it used to be that having a newspaper there helped a little. But for much of 2009, a print reporter has not been at a meeting. It is important that people have lots of information about the actions of their public officials so they can be make informed decisions at election time.

    On your other point, we’ll comment more later. We watched at one meeting when a new citizen of the municipiality stopped by to wonder why Elkton was the only town in the state not putting Flouride in its water (We haven’t verified that fact). It was really a secondary comment to his primary reason for visiting and he just asked it casually after his primary remarks.

    Oh the reaction he got from the elected leadership, the professional staff and the audience. It wasn’t only the “peanuty gallery,” which the board has been talking about lately, in this case. It was a wide ranger of audience members.

    Something very similiar might happen. Not familiar with our norms, I’m sure he was very surprised and we probably should have written an article about the exchange. It could have been a funny piece and if we’d had video we could have put it up on E-Span, the You Tube channel for the Mayor and Commissioners of Elkton. Not exaclty C-Span, for sure!

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