Earlier this year $15,000 was designated which allowed Vernon City Council to broadcast their Council meetings on the city website.
Scott Anderson questioned the integrity of the process at the Council meeting on Aug. 13.
The concerns revolved around a feature of the site which allows, supposedly, for “cutting” segments of the meetings from the video and downloading those snippets on to one’s own computer.
The reason for this initiative was predicated on the decision to only allow the original broadcast to stay up for three weeks. This would allow viewers to preserve what to them, are important points for future reference.
The feature does not work, and Coun. Anderson wanted to know why, and when will it be corrected. After all, it was part of where the $15,000 of taxpayers’ money went.
In response, Coun. Lord objected to the feature based on her unsubstantiated fears that those clips would be used on social media to misrepresent issues as being out of context. That point had some validity but as Coun. Anderson pointed out if the entire meetings were archived, that would not be an issue.
Coun. Quiring expressed fears that the snippets could be morphed into something approaching a cartoon (“they could make you sound like Donald Duck”) to also misrepresent what had taken place. I would argue that the same point I made in the previous paragraph could be applied to that argument on his part.
Coun. Anderson said it best, “It says to me that we’re doing the very littlest that we can…I’m not sure what we’re hiding.”
Frankly, Don Jefcoat, who is running for Council, Coun. Anderson and I had to lobby long and hard for an open and transparent way for people to see City Council meetings.
Were we wasting our time?