Simultaneous Broadcast – a key to municipal transparency?

Published On October 6, 2015 » 869 Views» By Charles Powers » Bergen County Municipal Practices &Transparency
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We found out on June 15, 2015  why/how/where public meeting broadcasting works and produces better governance from the Mayor of Oakland, whose borough has done it for years, & from the former Mayor of Woodcliff Lake whose borough has just started broadcasting. See the video in which then Woodcliff Lakes Mayor Jeffrey Goldsmith described his borough’s broadcast policy and how it developed by clicking Schwager & Goldsmiththe picture below.

We also  got an update from Jared Lautz, Director of Communications and Policy for the Bergen County Freeholders on the county’s current and planned broadcasting  & website videos of Freeholder meetings. And we reviewed the research results of BGR’s George Bumiller on the broadcasting & video practices of other Bergen municipalities.

Today at least 15 of the County’s 70 municipalities broadcast and/or make available video tapes of their Council meetings. Some of those 15 have done so for less than 2 years. However, most municipalities do not do so.  And if our research is right, today only 6 of the 10 Bergen municipalities with the largest populations do any public meeting broadcasting or videotaping. Most of those 10 do 1) not video all of their Council meetings; and/or 2) video none of their town’s other public meetings. And yet some of the smaller municipalities (Woodcliff Lake, population 6K, for example) now broadcasts its council statutory board meetings.

Our major finding: there is no common thread or approach. Permutations and combinations abound! The issue remains controversial in some towns. Residents will be as hard pressed, as our researchers have been, to find broadcast times and locations.

On this municipal broadcasting topic, The Record’s John Ennslin interviewed Mayor Schwager, George Bumiller and Chuck Powers on his blog radio  program found at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/recordtalkradio/2015/06/17/how-to-avoid-rabies-in-wildlife

 

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