While Commissioner Broomell explores ways to enhance accountability in county government by increasing public accessibility and transparency, it appears one simple, practical step could be implemented immediately. That is the county should move the workshops to the large meeting room and start recording those sessions, which is something President Jim Mullin said he’s “leaning toward” doing. As the push to have video broadcasts continue with Commissioner Broomell working with the staff to untangle costs, technical issues and organizational barriers, the president’s idea is a practical one as it can be done right now and there’s no cost.
While the push for video works its way through the halls of county government, there’s a need for the simple changes President Mullin is thinking about. First, the workshops, which take place in a crowded, smaller conference room, are getting standing room only audiences these days, with people sometimes pushed out into the hallway. Those much larger auidences are creating problems as it’s hard to hear what more soft-spoken officials are saying. So why not move it to the bigger facility where everyone can have a seat and there’s an amplification system to make sure everyone can hear the remarks? Second, in that room all they have to do is flip the switch to make an audio recording of the meeting. Once that’s done, they can follow the practice they do for the over half of their sessions, where it’s posted on the Net. That’ll create an official record of what happened, word by word, and we won’t have to depend on different media outlets (legacy or bloggers) filtering the news.
Although it’s month since the votes were tallied from the 2010 election, Someone Noticed appreciates the fact that Commissioner Broomell hasn’t forgotten her campaign pledge and is continuing to push to make it easier for everyone to have access to the proceedings. It’s an excellent idea, one that she’ll have to work on to get everyone on board , including other commissioners, but it will make for better government and better decision-making in Cecil County.
Meanwhile President Mullin, give everyone in the audience a chair and just flip the switch. It’s good for the taxpayers, the citizens, and the political leadership to have as much sunshine as possible on the affairs of Cecil County Government.
Flip that switch President Mullin and let the people listen in.