An email I sent to Brighton Council May 27, 2014. The motion to record Brighton Council meetings will be discussed on Monday, June 2, 2014. Meeting starts at 6:30, stop by Council Chambers if you are able.
Attn: Ms. Kimmett – Please add this correspondence to the agenda of the next Council meeting.
Dear Mayor and Councillors,
I was pleased to see the Motion by Councillors Martinello and Tadman asking for the recording of Brighton Council meetings. I feel this is an important step in improving communications and making Council more accessible to the taxpayers of Brighton.
Back in September, 2013 I had discussed the possibility of livestreaming the Council meetings with Councillors Kerr and Rittwage. At that time both councillors agreed that it was a good idea and Councillor Rittwage even commented “Great idea. We should work on it sooner than later!”.
I mistakenly assumed that it would be looked at and I would receive a follow-up as to the status of my suggestion. I did not receive any follow up so I emailed Councillor Kerr on November 7, 2013 and he confirmed “There hasn’t been any further thought to it as far as I know as it was on hold until the budget draft came forward. I will check to see if it has been included in the first draft and it will come up for discussion then”.
I was concerned that the item may get cut from the budget if the costs for livestreaming were too high, so I sent the following to Councillor Kerr, “If you think the costing will prevent approval (you mentioned this happened previously), perhaps an interim option would be to have an audio recording of the meeting and then have that posted to the Municipal website. Of course this would not as ideal, but it would be something that could easily be done in house to keep the costs minimal”. Shortly after, Councillor Kerr replied with the following, “good suggestion. I have confirmed that the item will be in the draft budget coming forward”.
It turns out that Councillor Kerr’s statement was a false assurance as either the item was never added to the draft budget, or it was added and then removed before it came to up for discussion by Council. If it was removed, who made the decision on behalf of Council to remove it and why?
Although not as ideal as livestreaming, I fully support the idea of recording the meetings and posting to the Municipal website
I hope that this motion will be supported unanimously by Council.