City Council considers streaming meetings online

City Council considers streaming meetings online

PAWTUCKET - Members of the Pawtucket City Council are considering streaming live video of their meetings on the web.

Jay Rosenfield, president of the Clerkbase system now utilized by city officials to post meeting agendas and minutes, presented details on the proposed streaming service at a meeting last week.

Rosenfield said he's been talking with City Clerk Rick Goldstein about the program for about a year. The benefits to residents would be many, he said, as they would be able to watch meetings from the comfort of their home and be able to go back to any portion of a meeting to review what was said.

Meetings would continue to be broadcast on Cox, said Rosenfield, but would also be available online to be viewed at any time.

Councilors were generally positive about the idea, but expressed some concern about taping pre-council subcommittee meetings. They said those meetings are where much of the background discussion takes place.

Council President David Moran said he'd like to see the council implement the live-streaming program "with baby steps" before considering taping committee meetings. Pre-council meetings "can get heated," he said, and he wants everyone to feel like they can still express their feelings freely.

The cost for the streaming system would be $6,000 annually and $1,500 to $1,800 to set up, according to Moran.

"The money comes out of the clerk's record fund not the general fund," said Moran. "(There is) no cost to taxpayers."

Moran said he wanted to make sure all councilors were on board before giving the project the green light.

According to Deputy City Clerk Michelle Hardy, the money for the streaming would come out of the clerk's "records technology" account and not the "records restoration" account used to have the city's deed books restored.