The Mayor and Commissioners of Elkton periodically play to a practically empty house while transacting the public’s business and on the average evenings there’s only a small cluster of citizens present to observe the town board. From time to time a special issue will pack the house, but that’s rare.
Giving the ease with which streaming audio or video can be shared in the 21st century Commissioner Mary Jo Jablonski has proposed the town start broadcasting its meetings on the net. This would allow individuals to stay informed about the actions of municipal government. We first heard her recommend this back in 2008, and she has brought it up periodically since that time. At a meeting last month, she was once again serving as an advocate for this 21st century idea, which would make Elkton government more open and accessible to a larger group of citizens. When discussions occur about digital delivery of the town meetings, a variety of ideas are discussed. These include live streaming on the Net, archiving the digital video on a web hosting site so it can be screened at the viewer’s pleasure, or just broadcasting the audio.
We think Commissioner Jablonski’s idea is a good one. The town has changed and grown significantly over the past few decades and many of the new residents commute out of town for work. Putting video or audio of the meetings on the net would be a step that would increase awareness of municipal actions and we completely concur with the proposal. The technology is not difficult for we can do it right here on this web site if we wanted to, so it is a practical and cost effective. Thank you Commissioner Jablonski for proposing this progressive step and for continuing to serve as an advocate for making access to meeting conveniently available to a broad audience. Hopefully someday we’ll see the town take a step in this direction. It would be a valuable service for the public and many governmental agencies do exactly that. Cecil County government, as an example, makes the audios of its meeting available on its web site.