The referral about televising regular Council meetings, committee meetings and other public meetings will be discussed by the Rules Committee tomorrow evening at 6:30 p.m. This is a good opportunity to come out and voice your opinion about whether or not we should televise our public meetings so that more people have an opportunity to see what is being discussed and what decisions are being made by our City leaders.
Supporters of this idea like the fact that they will not have to come in person to see the meetings and they will be able to keep up with City issues and events better if the meetings are televised. They will also be able to see how their elected officials represent them and the stances taken on various issues. It will also provide interested residents with additional insight into how the City is run and the basis for various decisions. Many have also noted that most discussion takes place at committee meetings, making it important for committee meetings to be televised.
Opponents of this idea say that televising meetings will cause the elected officials to "grandstand," that is, to speak out when they would otherwise remain silent. The fear is that the meetings will become longer and more adversarial and that political statements will be made, causing Council to lose its sharp focus on the issues and instead "pander" to the audience. Opponents also say that it is a waste of time to televise these meetings because very few people will watch them.
The potential costs for televising public meetings are not clear at this point. This will also be discussed at the meeting. If anyone is interested to volunteer to record meetings or help to produce them, you can come to the meeting and do so.
I have also included a poll about the televised meetings. Take a moment to participate in the poll or offer a suggestion if you have strong feelings either way.