Rockwall Council member wants meetings live online

At the Nov. 16 Rockwall City council meeting, Council Member Glen Farris recommended the City investigate using social media sites and blogs to better communicate with City residents. We applauded that idea and emailed each of the Council members to congratulate them for approving Glen’s proposal. We hope the City will begin using them right away.

At the same meeting, Council Member Mark Russo also suggested streaming or broadcasting council meetings live online. Sounds like another great idea to us!

Mark told me the other day that he believes it will help increase the Council’ transparency, and help city residents to better understand what Council members are doing. He said City Manager Julie Couch prefers that sessions be edited but he prefers live.

The only problem appears to be budget. Mark worries the cost to start will range between $50-80,000 per year for multiple cameras, editing and production services.

But one or two good video cameras, microphones and Skype.com or YouTube.com could easily solve that problem. Oprah uses Skype for live interviews.

YouTube.com might not show meetings in real time but the proceedings could easily be uploaded within minutes for free!

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