The city of Columbus has joined the ranks of Hulu and Netflix. While that might seem like an unusual comparison, all three provide a service of streaming video content to its customers. In the city’s case, our customers are you, the public.
The city is streaming meetings live from City Hall on our website and archiving them for later viewing by anyone with an Internet connection.
It has been a top priority of Mayor Kristen Brown to make our public meetings and proceedings as open, transparent and accessible as possible for everyone. On Jan. 7, the city began streaming and archiving City Council, Board of Public Works and Safety and Redevelopment Commission meetings, and just this past month, the City Plan Commission meetings as well.
There has definitely been a learning curve to ensure that we capture the best audio and video of the event. We continue to make adjustments including the addition of new fixed microphones in the ceiling to assist in capturing the discussions that occur within the Council Chamber.
We plan to launch additional meetings over the course of the next couple of months including Board of Zoning Appeals, Human Rights Commission, Animal Care Services, and eventually Parks Board, Board of Aviation Commissioners and Utilities.
As you can imagine, public attendance and participation in our board, commission and council meetings is light at best for regular business. Attendance ranges from no one to about a dozen. However, with the implementation our live web streaming and archiving, we have seen the number of those accessing our meetings increase dramatically.
From Jan. 7 through Feb. 22, there have been over 260 individuals who have watched meetings live and about 650 individuals who have accessed and watched meetings that have been archived and stored.
We hope to see this number continue to increase as we strive to make the proceedings of the city fully transparent and accessible.
Stay tuned for more meetings coming online as well as continued improvements to the broadcast. You can find the link for either live or archived viewing of meetings at columbus.in.gov by clicking on the “Live Video Meeting or Archive” icon on the right hand side of the home page.
Jeff Logston is director of operations and finance for the city of Columbus. He can be reached at email@example.com or by phone at 376-2527.
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