The Record: Englewood mayor wants meeting televised, streamed online live

17 April 2010 89 views No Comment

As reported in The Record, Mayor Frank Huttle is calling for City Council meetings to be televised and streamed live online as part of an effort to make information about the city more available to residents. In addition, residents can visit to find Englewood news and learn more about their city government. The full article is below.

ENGLEWOOD — Residents may soon be able to attend City Council meetings from the comfort of their own homes.

Mayor Frank Huttle is asking the council to have all council meetings filmed, televised and streamed live online in order to promote transparency to the residents and let people participate who can’t make it to meetings.

Currently, only audio recordings of meetings are made, making it difficult for residents to participate in the governmental process if they are unable to attend, a statement from the mayor said.

“Today, unless you are able to make time in your schedule to attend a meeting, … you have little recourse to finding out what your elected officials think or do,” Huttle said.

Meetings, in addition to being streamed live, would be archived online for residents to reference later. As for the television broadcasts, Huttle said the city will have to work out on which channel they would appear.

He added, “I want to make it as easy as possible for residents to get information about their government so they can participate in critical issues.”

Huttle said the current economic crisis meant that the council needs transparency “more than ever.” The city, he said, is at a critical stage in the budget process and transparency is essential in order for the residents and taxpayers to be informed.

“It’s past time to show the people who elected us that we are serious about running a transparent, open government on their behalf,” Huttle said.

Many municipalities in the state televise government meetings and Huttle said he was hoping to form a partnership with the Englewood Board of Education in order to have students from the schools studying television production work to record the meetings. “It can be a great learning experience for the kids to get involved with this,” he said.

He added he wants the television and Internet broadcasts to be live so residents can participate as the events are occurring. The costs of streaming the broadcasts to the Internet, he said, would be minimal. “In my opinion, it’s an absolute necessity at this time,” he added.

While Huttle said there is not yet a timetable for start taping, he hoped it would begin in short order, and he planned to discuss it with the council at the next meeting, May 4.

“We now have so much greater ability to communicate with a broad base of our residents than prior generations,” the mayor said. “We should seize those advancements to improve transparency and public education.”

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