Still Buffering: CB3 Must Wait Longer for Livestreams of Monthly Meetings
Community Board meetings are notorious for being marathon affairs. Near-all-nighters where patience, personalities, and tempers are put to the test. But some districts are now able to enjoy the boredom from the comfort of the couch, with beverage (or joint) in hand. Though, not in District 3. Not yet, at least.
Community Board 1 (Williamsburg and Greenpoint) already began livestreaming their general meetings online last month. In a deal with Channel 13, the public broadcaster films and publishes the monthly proceedings, paid for by taxpayers at the behest of local Council members. It’s apparently the first of many such arrangements for Community Boards around the city.
What might be considered a boon for local reporters and residents alike is not coming to our neck of the woods anytime soon.
“Livestreaming is cost prohibitive unless we can hold meetings where there is Wi-Fi because we would otherwise need to pay for the cost of uploading the video,” new CB3 Chair Jamie Rogers tells us.
“Unfortunately, many of the meeting locations we have in the district lack Wi-Fi.”
Instead, Rogers will start by recording SLA subcommittee meetings as a pilot and post to a dedicated YouTube channel.
“After we get that right, I will work on expanding the recording program to the full board and to other important meetings.”
The conversation over live sessions has been ongoing for at least the last four years. The community board did approve something similar in March 2014; the Intro 28 measure, which would require “all public meetings [be filmed] in digital video format and providing live webcast of these meetings, and also archiving the recordings and making them available on the website and at the community board office.” But with the caveat to “develop a plan to adequately address the costs and constraints associated with compliance with the law, which should include providing a portal to upload recorded meeting video files.”
Perhaps, once implemented, this might force members to have some accountibility over what’s said, etc.