All eyes on city council

Resideht calls for more transparency at Vernon council meetings

I have been taking notes copiously for a while now at Vernon city council meetings. I have never relied on the fact that a camera from Shaw Cable was recording the proceedings.

There are various reasons for this, and they could include a lack of faith in the ability of the photographer to capture all of what was going on, or has been demonstrated lately, to allegedly fail to preserve that record of what happened.

The other reason I take notes is because, like at a hockey game, there are a lot of other things going on in the room that are not in the shot.

They include gestures and words that I can see and hear, and that the camera has failed to capture.

In that respect, the notes I have of some of the inane remarks made by some councillors, and insulting remarks made by other participants at the podium, are preserved in my notes.

The reason I bring all of this to the letters section is in response to a point brought forward in council inquiries March 13 about a need for a video recording system of integrity at city council meetings.

At the present time, Shaw Cable records the proceedings. They then can be viewed on the following Wednesday or Thursday at 11 a.m. on Shaw Cable channel 11.

Recently, it was alleged that an attempt to retrieve this visual record of the meeting of Dec. 12, 2016, and specifically, the remarks of Eric Foster at that meeting, were unsuccessful because the video was no longer available.

By any standard, a video record of these meetings should be available for more than 30 days.

When you factor in the fact that only Shaw Cable subscribers have access to that record, we have what I would describe as a lack of transparency or due diligence in terms of how these proceedings are being archived and available for public perusal.

Additionally, Shaw Cable has been known to pre-empt broadcasts or abbreviate their telecast for other programs.

Finally, the sound quality at times has been abysmal.

While I appreciate and respect the proven contributions of local media in reporting the meetings, Vernon needs a system of recording and preserving these meetings similar to those found in many other cities in the province.

I am glad this has been brought to council chambers for an objective analysis of the wisdom of that suggestion.

Dean Roosevelt

Vernon