Public Committee Meetings
I was listening to the MAPS 3 Streetcar Citizen Advisory Board Subcommittee meeting that was recently recorded and uploaded to Soundcloud by Jeff Bezdek of Modern Transit Project OKC. I went ahead and embedded it below because I know several people that read this blog are from Oklahoma City and I encourage them to listen to it.
It is the first time, to my knowledge, that one of these MAPS 3 subcommittees have been recorded and posted online. As silly as it sounds, this is huge. Why? Because, although the information discussed at the meetings is critical to the development process, not much of it ever gets disseminated to the general public. That's essentially because these discussions are not taking place in a council chamber -- they just don't get reported on very well. And that is too bad.
Michael Bates from Batelines.com just recently wrote a post about why it is critical to record and broadcast these types of board/committee meetings.
Much of the substantial discussion about a city decision takes place in the recommending body, with the decision maker (City Council or Mayor or both) often deferring to the recommending body's judgment without comment or discussion. For this reason, video recordings of Tulsa's authorities, boards, and commissions are central to the public understanding of the official actions of city government.It is 2012 and we should no longer be debating about if we should be providing this information to the public. In fact, we should be so far past that, it's rather inexcusable that the vast majority of cities still do virtually no recording and publishing. If you are serious as a city about providing information to the public that makes them more informed citizens, then recording and posting those recordings online is a fantastic first step. The tools are available and with smart-phones, you can actually do the whole setup for free now by simply using your phone as a recording device. Rudimentary, but it is at least a start.