County to investigate video streaming of monthly council meetings

January 28, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

Dufferin County council has directed staff to investigate the possibility of creating a broadcasting service that, among other things, would be used to broadcast council and possibly committee meetings, to encourage more citizen engagement and transparency of council business. 

The motion was put forth by Mono Deputy Mayor John Creelman, chair of the General Government Services committee (GGS), and was unanimously approved by council.

“I am keen on televising local government councils,” Mr. Creelman explained to the Citizen. “It’s surprising how many people watch and appreciate being able to do so in towns that have coverage.”

Orangeville has broadcast council meetings for a number of years. Deputy Mayor Creelman tabled a motion in Mono last December for staff to investigate video streaming of that town’s council meetings, potentially establishing a Mono YouTube channel, with a report expected in February, given a lack of residents currently attending the meetings. 

“I think it’s important to give people an easy opportunity to watch their elected representatives in action,” he said, noting citizen engagement was one of the key issues during the election. “Better accountability results, not to mention more citizen engagement.”

He added it’s good seeing a number of easy-to-implement, low-cost ways of doing via this emerge, such as YouTube. 

“My thoughts apply to both the local and county levels of government. Specifically to the issue of county coverage, hopefully it will better inform residents as to county responsibilities,” Deputy Mayor Creelman explained. “Up to 50 per cent of local tax dollars go to Dufferin County but it’s the least understood and appreciated level of local government. Hopefully that can change as people observe council and possibly its committees.”

It is expected that staff will report back through the GGS committee at the next county council meeting in February.

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