Tag Archives: Mark Russo

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!

Rockwall City Council votes again to annex Lake Rockwall Estates

The Rockwall City Council voted again Tuesday night to annex Lake Rockwall Estates by the same 6-1 margin as it did about two weeks ago.

The lone dissenting vote was cast by Mark Russo, who said one of his election promises was to try to keep city taxes low.

No other details are currently available.

New Hilton Bella Harbor Hotel celebrates grand opening, raises $4,000 for CASA

The new Hilton Bella Harbor Hotel on Lake Ray Hubbard celebrated its grand opening last night with over 200 Rockwall area residents in attendance in tuxedos and ball gowns. The event raised about $4,000 for Rockwall’s Lone Star CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), which assists children who have either been abused or who are suspected of having been abused.

My wife and I finally arrived at 10 pm, just in time to enjoy the great fireworks display. We’d been babysitting earlier for two of my grandchildren in Forney. Although it was getting late, there were still over 100 guests still there enjoying the beautiful night on the patio.

The event began about 7 pm with a fundraising dinner, followed by drinks, dancing in the ballroom, plus evening excursions on the lake on Scott Self’s new 40-ft. catamarand. The former Rockwall mayor and Rockwall County Commissioner recently completed building the ship and started a new cruise business on the lake.

While there we enjoyed visiting with Rockwall Area Artists liaison Vicki Hoarty, her mother, business partner Sharon Edmunds, plus some other friends.

We also said hi to newly-elected City Councilman Mark Russo, who admitted he was surprised by his election victory last week. He invited me to call him soon. He’s interested in helping us to promote our new website and blog.