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Headline By: WFP
North Huron Might Start Youtubing Council Meetings
Date: 2013-05-24 18:29:56

North Huron Council is going to look into the feasibility of video recording meetings, and linking to them via the North Huron website.  Click here if you want to see the entire council meeting.

Now you might be saying, I thought the meetings were already recorded.  They are, and you can view them on our YouTube Channel.  WFP also creates excerpts of meetings, so the public can view a portion of a meeting that might be of interest to them, without having to sit through 1-3 hours of the Mayor virtually nodding off and losing track of the proceedings, or Vodden explaining how it is ok, "not to tender".  Vodden mentions how it is ok not to tender so frequently, it is starting to look suspicious.

So, how easy was it to get this far?
  • Summer 2011 WFP repeatedly asks Bernie Bailey and Alma Conn, to get council to record meetings. 
  • Late August 2011 Bill Knott goes on the radio to help put pressure on council to record the meetings.
  • August 25, 2011 WFP Poll showed > 85% of public wanted meetings recorded/broadcast.
  • 2011 - 2012 WFP periodically asks Bernie Bailey to get council to electronically record all closed sessions of Council, like the Ontario Ombudsman HIGHLY recommends.  Comment posters on WFP also request video recording of council meetings.
  • October 2012 WFP again mentions video recording meetings.
  • First week of 2013 - After making zero headway getting Council to record meetings.  WFP takes advantage of Boxing Day sales and buys a camera for about $100, with a memory card.
  • WFP starts communicating with EastLink to broadcast North Huron council meetings.  Several video conversion attempts were made, but the video was not compatible with their system.  WFP offered volunteers to run EastLink equipment, to ensure the video was suitable for broadcast.  Apparently EastLink does "does not have staff and/or equipment resources".
  • February 2013: WFP starts video recording council meetings.
  • March 2013: WFP starts YouTubing entire council meetings.
  • May 2013: North Huron to consider video recording meetings.
Please watch the video below.

Just in case you didn't watch the video, here is a transcript. 
Please note, this from the of May 21, 2013 council meeting.

Archie MacGowan: "in thinking about the strategic plan, and the section around communication and involving the community, I wondered if it would be possible for Gary and Connie to look into the feasibility of taping the council meetings in their entirety and posting a link to a website." 
Bernie Bailey: "That's a good idea."
Neil Vincent: "That's a request for them to look into it?"
Archie McGowan: "Well, I don't think it has to be expensive, we could set up our own video equipment and just link it to the website, so the ratepayers can see the entire council meetings, and then they may have questions they can call us about, or have suggestions, it may entice them to come the meeting.  (inaudible) I was wondering if we could look into that".

Honestly, WFP welcomes town staff recording meetings! 

WFP would now like to suggest the following to Council.
1. Allow the public to email Gary Long questions for "public and press" portion of the meeting.
2. Gary Long reads these questions aloud during the "public and press" portion of the meeting.
3. Record the closed sessions of council.  Make the video clips "private" on YouTube.  This would allow you to share the video with the Ombudsman within seconds of his/her request. Making any potential investigation extremely simple and cost effective.

These three tiny steps would make North Huron Council one of the most open and transparent councils in the world.  It's really that simple. 

Remember, at the start of this term, Councillors refused to release their email addresses for "fear of spam".  They had virtually zero contact with constituents, rammed things through council (trailer park, etc), gaveled the public, etc. etc.  If you truly want to see change in North Huron, please, PLEASE contact council, NOW!


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