Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Look, Ma! The County Commission on TV, Live.

Posted by on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 2:40 AM

Unless functional consolidation can be achieved fairly quickly in local government, City Hall is going to have to go some to catch up with Shelby County in certain technological ways — most notably and most recently in the televising of legislative proceedings.

This Monday’s was the third consecutive public meeting of the Shelby County Commission that could be followed by televised image on the commission’s website. While proceedings of the city council can be followed via audio (as can those of the commission), interested citizens are still deprived of the opportunity to actually see Jim Strickland and Joe Brown cityside as they can Henri Brooks and Mike Ritz on the other side of the plaza.

Here is a still of Brooks in action Monday, sounding off on the merits of re-bidding medical care for inmates of the county’s correction system — the week’s hot-button issue.

brooks_2_tv.jpg
  • JB

There are three camera positions — one for long shots of the commission, another trained on individual commissions as they speak, and a third fixed on the commission dock where citizens and summoned witnesses come to speak. Camera movements are controlled by commission aides. Video quality and audio quality are both acceptable.

Here, by comparison, is an image of state Senator Mark Norris from a Monday evening session in Nashville, carried on the Tennessee General Assembly web page.

norris_senate.jpg
  • JB

Commissioner Ritz, who, while affiliated with Germantown city government, was one of the pioneers of that city’s own televised proceedings of its government proceedings (a full 20 years ago!), credits former Commissioner David Lillard, now state treasurer, with beginning the move toward televised proceedings some three years ago.

Ritz said it is his ambition to help arrange for the commission’s televised meetings to be seen on a Comcast cable channel.

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