Water board to discuss remote public participation

Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency
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The board of directors of the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency will review two options Tuesday for allowing remote public participation to continue during its regular and committee meetings when the board returns to an in-person format next month. 

Directors will consider “hybrid” and “full production” options, according to a board memorandum prepared for the board’s deliberations Tuesday evening. 

The hybrid option — estimated to cost the agency $25,000 to set up, plus $3,000 per year to maintain — would allow members of the public to comment through Zoom just as they have during the pandemic, which forced in-person public meetings to move online. 

Taking an estimated two to three months to prepare, the hybrid option would install one fixed pan-tilt-zoom motorized camera for an “audio, or audio and video” experience. 

The agency’s budget has funds available to cover the hybrid option, according to a board memo. 

The more expensive full production option would cost $65,000 to set up with a yearly maintenance cost of $25,000 per year. 

The estimated timeline is four to six months, though the board memo does not specify if the agency’s budget could cover the full production option. 

Full production would include four cameras, a remote-controlled audio/visual production system and a “dedicated remote professional contractor that would operate the cameras to zoom/pan and toggle between action.” 

This option also includes onscreen title blocks and high video production value. 

Currently, SCV Water posts audio recordings of its regular board meetings the day after they’re held. A video and audio broadcast is available live during meetings.  

Directors can choose to maintain this approach until they return to in-person meetings where remote public participation has been an option limited to board members and/or special presenters through a telephone conference line. 

“Although this has allowed for remote audio participation, it is not designed to support a large call-in audience because it lacks management controls and scalability,” the board memo stated, estimating remote participation would be available to less than five people in that scenario. 

SCV Water Agency board of directors is scheduled to meet Tuesday, Aug. 3, at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit yourscvwater.com/board-and-committee-meetings/. 

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