Back in 2008 and again in 2009, when folks asked why the council decided against televising council meetings, they responded that their "research" indicated the cost was too prohibitive.
As gentle readers like you know that I have been providing recordings of select council and other public session meetings since December 2008, accessible by anyone, anywhere in the world reachable via the internet 24/7/365 and realize that I have been doing so spending less than $300 to date, would you like to know why the council has not done so yet?
While I remain uncertain as to why, I have found the following that make the reason economic unlikely. In Dumont Borough Codes Chapter A546 and adopted on March 19, 2002 as Ordinance 1269, aka Cable Franchise Agreement. In part, the borough receives the following free of charge:
- One high-speed cable modem and monthly Internet access service, including a standard installation to one municipal location designated by the Borough;
- Network up to three additional personal computer terminals in the designated building (four computers total) to the cable modem;
- One high-speed cable modem and monthly Internet access service, including a standard installation to all state-accredited primary and secondary public schools within the Borough;
- One high-speed cable modem and monthly Internet access service, including a standard installation to the municipal library;
- A noncommercial public, educational and governmental channel for the Borough use, upon request by the Borough. This channel may only be used for noncommercial programming.
So what does this cost? In this ten-year agreement, Dumont receives 2% of gross receipts, which for 2010, the borough anticipates this revenue to be $189,214, almost double from 2009 of $95,000 anticipated. The contract continues:
In consideration for the rights granted by this ordinance, Cablevision shall provide the Borough with a one-time grant of $15,000 to be used by the municipality for cable and/or other telecommunications-related purposes, including to supplement PEG access related production and programming efforts in the Borough.
So where did the grant go?Who is to blame this time?
Why is the Mayor of Englewood so intent on having council meetings streamed live and archived for anytime access?
Excerpted from the article:
He added, "I want to make it as easy as possible for residents to get information about their government so they can participate in critical issues."
Huttle said the current economic crisis meant that the council needs transparency "more than ever." The city, he said, is at a critical stage in the budget process and transparency is essential in order for the residents and taxpayers to be informed.
"It’s past time to show the people who elected us that we are serious about running a transparent, open government on their behalf," Huttle said.
I guess we will just have to do with lip service here in Dumont and completely trust our elected officials.