Live streaming coming to Smiths Falls Council meetings

Posted on: October 2, 2018

Councillor John Maloney was more than pleased to hear Smiths Falls council members agree to go ahead with Clerk Kerry Costello’s recommendation regarding live streaming of Committee of the Whole, or Council, or a combination of both, or perhaps a third reading of the budget, at Monday’s meeting. Maloney was the first to bring this idea to council in an effort to get more people engaged in the process. It was a unanimous decision.

Costello offered three options: provide an in-house service, or YourTV to provide through their website with an archived copy that the Town could link to, and third, a more holistic approach to include “all meeting agendas, minutes and the live stream feed and recordings to be available and accessible through the Town’s website.”

The recommendation was for a one-year term with YourTV.

Costs varied starting with $500 per meeting with YourTV, about $4000 to purchase equipment plus an annual subscription fee of about $1000 for in-house, and $12,000-$14,000 per year for the holistic approach.

Nothing has been budgeted in 2019 for the streaming.

YourTV explained the meetings would be live-streamed through their web site with a link to the Town’s website and a hook back to the Facebook page. The live-stream would be archived on the Town’s website.

Could there eventually be e-participation, Maloney asked, that is if councillors were away could they participate in a vote from afar? Costello said “no, you can watch but not participate.”

Costello added that $500 was a flat rate whether it was for a 10 minute meeting or a three hour meeting. Often the Town schedules a Committee of the Whole meeting and then immediately following that a Council meeting. Councillor Gallipeau asked for a price to cover both meetings “as they are already set up.” Costello agreed to get a costing for both and to put on next week’s agenda.