Thursday, January 8, 2009

City Council Briefings to Be Televised “Occasionally” Maybe

For $55,181.00 the EOC (Emergency Operations Center, Room 159) where briefings and joint meetings are held can be transformed to accommodate televised Council briefings. This option had zero support especially when Councilman Dave Trinkle quoted the production fees and noted the poor acoustics and lighting that would require correction.

Trinkle said if there was the occasional briefing “that one of [Council] thought was vitally important to have on TV” it could be done at the “closed captioning” cost of $420 for 3 hours. However, regularly scheduled televised briefings would cost over a thousand dollars a month.

The briefings could be substituted for the monthly televised Planning Commission meetings at only the cost of a computer if held in Council Chambers. This option would require a vote by the Cable Committee.

It was pointed out that if Council sat at the dais it would not be conducive to having relaxed joint meetings as is often the case. If a table was used the podium would have to be moved but the podium is hard-wired for microphones and computer hookup. In addition there would be a substantial cost for microphones for the tables.

Trinkle then brought up prioritizing time, which included the possibility that Roanoke County may want to televise their Planning Commission meetings. Trinkle said, “soon we would run out of time” and if we started the briefings and another locality wanted the time “our briefings would be the first to go.” Additionally, unscheduled “intermittent” briefings would require a 2-week notice to RVTV. The definition of “intermittent” may come into question at some point.

Councilman Court Rosen suggested streaming or taping the briefings for webcasts. However, the quality of video and especially sound as it relates to background noise may not be overcome easily. City Manager, Darlene Burcham, was unsure if RVTV would allow it on their broadcast but it might be possible to put it on the City’s website. “Someone on an hourly basis could come in to produce it,” said Burcham. Council will confer with the Planning Commission and Burcham will look into producing a webcast.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Roanoke City Politics



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