About a year ago, the Mayor & Commissioners took a helpful step toward better sharing of public information when the board agreed to stream one-half of its meetings on the Internet. To help with that, the town created a web page where the public could go to watch the videos. While that was a step in the right direction, they failed to go far enough for they were only streaming one-half of the meetings. The one where the decisions are actually mulled over and discussed, the workshops, weren’t shared online. We always felt that if the town wanted to increase public awareness of their deliberations they should share those, which is something we’ve stated before.
What has our attention on this matter today is another step that makes it harder for citizens to stay informed. Earlier this week the town removed all of its archived meeting content from the web site. Only the July 7th is session is posted on www.elkton.org. We can’t imagine what caused them to pull those down all at once. If the goal is to increase community awareness and involvement of public matters in Elkton, which is what Commissioner Jablonski stated when she pushed for the site, why this action. The labor to do it in these times when Elkton has just recently decided it needs cost-efficiencies has already been expended. Beyond that the public information in these recording is helpful to citizens trying to stay informed about public matters. Surely there’s some reason?
Now understand there are workarounds. Citizens may go to the town hall and file a Freedom of Information Act Request and get DVDs, but they said they wanted to make it easy for citizens to stay informed. Too, someone once said, “the Internet never forgets.” Once you put something out there, it’s real easy for someone to pull that material off of YouTube for later use. Or you can go to YouTube and search for a portion of the material, which remains there (but not all the original postings).