In the new year, audio recordings of the meetings held at the SCV Water agency are expected to be posted on the agency’s website.
The agency’s board of directors voted in favor of the move at its regular board meeting last week.
“We need to get some hardware and do some testing,” agency spokeswoman Kathie Martin said Tuesday. “It will most likely be January when we start.”
Over a two-month period, members of the agency’s Finance and Administration Committee discussed audio/visual options for board meetings.
The committee concluded no further investigation or information was needed with regards to video recording or live broadcasting of the board meetings.
Committee member Dan Mortensen told the board on Oct. 15: “We looked at the video systems as an option and they were a half a million dollars.”
“The audio recordings we found were dramatically reduced, at $2,500,” he said.
The committee recommended the board approve the posting of audio recordings of SCV Water’s board meetings on the agency website and that they keep the recordings for a year as opposed to 30 days.
Board members were reminded during discussion about the recordings that some members of the public already make private recordings of the meetings.
They were also reminded that, on occasion, people recording the meetings have taken comments out of context to make a point or serve a private agenda.
In the end, the board voted to have the recordings.
The committee did ask that staff both investigate the retention policy of the board audio recording and the hosting of this audio recording on the agency website.
Board President Bill Cooper asked about the official record of board meetings — would the official record be written transcripts or audio recordings.
Joseph Byrne, general counsel for the agency, assured the board that the minutes taken remain as the official record.
Board member Lynne Plambeck said of the decision: “We have tried to be transparent in the past. This helps people understand what background issues are.”
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