This post from Commissioner Candidate Diana Broomell came in after we wrote a piece about how we’re streaming Elkton Town Meetings. Because it generated reader reaction, we decided to elevate the timely comment to the top of the blog. We too are advocates for as much transparency in government as possible, so we also didn’t want it to get buried in the dozens of comments that keep coming in about how the charter group is financing its campaign.
Comments from Diana Broomell ————————-.
Do the Commissioners really think we’re going to believe Scott Mesneak’s report regarding the cost of televising commissioner meetings? ($675,000 for the startup and $200,000 to $300,000 to maintain the system.)
Scott, which counties did you research? We don’t have to create a network like Harford County.
A cheaper alternative is setting up voice-activated cameras and live streaming the broadcasts.
I found this site (http://www.county.org/resources/library/county_mag/county/131/lights.html) very quickly and it shows how Smith County in Texas was able to affordably televise through live stream and they have 5 cable companies to coordinate. Franchise agreements deal with that issue.
But the real benefit is that a permanent, complete record is kept of commissioner meetings which may be why the commissioners are not motivated to make it affordable. In fact, we probably could have purchased the voice-activated video equipment for the price of this five-year study.