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Monday, April 30, 2012

Council Transparency

At the FPCOW April 23, 2012 councillor George Anderson made the motion to "have Finance Policy Committee of the Whole meetings, while held in the Shaw Auditorium, video recorded and placed on the city website." (Report on pgs.32 – 34)  

The motion, after some discussion passed 6 to 3 with Councillors Brennan & Johnstone as well as Mayor Ruttan voting against.  While citing the cost and stating she would not be supporting Councillor Johnstone stated "but I do support transparency" guess just not in this vane.  Councillor Brennan thinks the Shaw Auditorium itself “constrains more open discussion” and also thought why bother when it would just be the same 150 people who would normally access regular council meetings on the City Website.  Mayor Ruttan stated he would not support the motion because the meetings would be moving to the new annex in 8 months and he also would not support such a motion when FPCOW meetings did move to the annex.

At question period, because the motion just dealt with FPCOW at SHAW Auditorium and nothing has yet been set in place for the new annex I asked the following question. I first told council I appreciated their decision and that ; “thinking ahead to when these meetings are moved to the new annex I am wondering that in the event council chooses not to continue with recording of meetings is there any reason a member of the public could not come in and personally record the meetings.”  The answer received from city staff was that there was not. 

This of course opens it up for future discussion in that if council wants meetings recorded in a so called professional manner they will in all likelihood ensure that the proper equipment is installed in the annex and meetings are posted to the city website.  In the event they choose not to do so I mentioned the possibility of Mid Island TV recording them and then uploading to YoutubeJ This could have the benefit of many others, than just the ‘regular 150’, uploading the videos and in essence be promotional for the City.  Of course you can bet they would not want to see this happen in the event one or another makes an ass of their self.

Believe it looks good for FPCOW meetings being available for view on the city website for the foreseeable futureJ  

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