Open and transparent government is becoming a mantra that city, county, port and state governments like to boast they believe in. Ahh, but what is transparent and open? Case in point: The county should be doing videos of the Districting Committee meetings and posting them online for all citizens to review. The meetings are held at noon on Mondays - a time when only retired folks and some activist students can attend.
The county keeps saying they want to do more videos of more meetings but technical challenges, equipment, money, manpower, etc. are all really serious challenges that need to be surmounted. And there is the promise that a new - another new - county website is in the making and it will enable more videos.
Enter the League of Women Voters - in the person of Judy Hopkinson and her iPhone. Check the photo at the top of Ralph Schwartz's article today and that is Judy in the far left - way at the other end of the room. She is making a pretty good video record of the hour and a half meeting today. It ended up being two sections - and you have to choose a 30 second commercial to watch - but you can sit and watch the intense and high stakes meeting of the Districting Committee. Close up - like being there. All done by Judy, the League, and the internet.
Videos of meetings are cheap, easy and do not require expensive equipment. All committees, commissions and councils should be fully video recorded by the county and posted the same day online and left there as a permanent record. That would be a step toward transparent and open government. The excuses are fabricated and lame. It takes some money but is well within the budget of the county. Meanwhile we can thank the League and Judy for doing their best to make our government transparent.
Here are the links to today's videos. And they are now in the right side column under the LWV red label. The first 60 minutes are here (meeting starts at 10:40 on the video). The final 20 minutes are here. Thanks Judy. Nice work. I am pleased to be able to report on your work and link to it. Citizen journalism at its best.
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