Salem considering televising meetings

camcorder-mf-jppiAttendance at Salem Town Board meetings has been relatively good lately.

Nevertheless, the town is investigating the cost of potentially expanding that audience a great deal by televising or providing audio of  Town Board meetings.

The possibility of televising or broadcasting the meetings was discussed briefly at last week’s Town Board meeting.

Town Chairman Linda Valentine said the initiative is about keeping town residents better informed of town business.

“Our goal, my goal, is to keep the electors in the loop, to let them know about actions in progress and activities completed within the town on a very
timely basis,” Valentine said.

Three other municipalities in  Kenosha County capture their proceedings in some way for later listening or viewing. Paddock Lake just restarted televising Village Board meetings via a cable access channel last month. Kenosha broadcasts its City Council meetings and Pleasant Prairie posts audio recordings of its Village Board meetings on its website.

Each type of recording would have soem advantages, Valentine said. Televising would be better for people who have cable TV access, but not internet. Audio recordings in the website would be better for people who do not want to be photographed and would be more easily archived, but not as good for people who do not use the internet.

But for Valentine getting some type of timely record of town meetings available is the key — whether it be audio or video.

“It lets the citizens hear almost first hand what was said, the emphasis of the words spoken and eliminates importance of the summary version of any draft (written minutes) that may be issued,” Valentine said. “I would like to pursue either.”


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