Should the City post audio files of its public meetings online?

Should the City post audio files of its public meetings online?

At last Tuesday’s City Council meeting (10/08/19), the mayor proposed the idea that recordings of the City’s public meetings should be available as audio files on its website. Members of the City Council didn’t all agree on whether or not that was something that should be done – and, once you look into the issue, you find there are a variety of issues that need to be addressed.

There are some technological considerations that have to be taken into account. Will transcripts have to be provided as well as the recordings? Are there any state guidelines about what needs to be made available with regard to files, online players, etc.?

And, of course, meetings will probably need to run a little differently, too. If an audio recording is made of a meeting, attendees (and the chair) will need to remember to allow only one person to speak at a time – and the amount of time allowed for people to opine (currently unrestricted except in the most extreme cases) will probably need to be limited.

Feelings on the Council ranged from: “If people really want to know what goes on in these meetings, they should be here” to “the more transparency, the better.”

What do you think?

Let us know in the comments section, below.

(Updated) City begins search for a new City Clerk.

(Updated) City begins search for a new City Clerk.

(Updated 10-10-19) After reviewing preliminary discussions with a consultant to assist in the search and selection of a new City Clerk for Riverdale, the mayor and council have agreed to delay a formal search until after the start of the new calendar year.

Cheryl Channon, City Council

For now, the City will proceed with identifying and hiring someone to fill the role of Treasurer – another of the positions currently filled on a part-time basis by Mr. Fullerlove. On Tuesday, October 8, the City Council approved the placement of this ad for the position and City Administrator, Tim Long, suggested that he thought it was possible to have a preliminary slate of candidates for review and discussion by the Council at its next meeting on 10/22.

With the decision made by Finance Committee Chair, Council Member Cheryl Channon, to not run for re-election, the Council agreed that they hoped most of the difficult budget work could be completed before Cheryl’s departure at the end of the year. The person fulfilling the Treasurer duties will need to work extensively with Council Member Channon, City Administrator Long and the mayor/mayor elect to make sure this deadline gets met.

(Original Story: 09-15-19) City Administrator, Tim Long, laid out the city’s general plan for finding a replacement City Clerk (to replace Ron Fullerlove who resigned on August 22nd to become the county administrator in Mercer County, IL).

“Ron had been instrumental in helping the City get on top of its financial situation and establish a more proactive approach to managing our tax levies and expenditures,” said Mayor Mike Bawden. “We now need to find someone who will view the clerk’s position in Riverdale as an opportunity for growth – and that may require us to make some changes to the ways we’ve been doing things over past practices.”

After conducting some initial meetings with other city administrators and consultants with knowledge of the market, Mayor Bawden and Administrator Long intend to provide a more detailed breakdown of the search and hiring process to City Council members for their review and input.