Lights, camera, action at Courtenay City Hall
Courtenay council meetings will now be viewable from the comfort of your home, thanks to council's approval of a webcasting system.
"I've been a supporter of webcasting our council meetings because I think the more people that see how we make decisions, where we make decisions, the issues that we discuss, all adds to people's understanding of how council works, and I think that's a good thing," said Coun. Jon Ambler during Monday's council meeting.
Councillors were presented with three options:
• A stationary camera system costing about $6,000;
• A multi-camera system costing $20,000 to $30,000;
• A multi-camera system with an Anycast Station costing $30,000 to $40,000.
The two pricier options include more advanced camera setups allowing for close-ups on specific speakers among other things, but they also require an equipment operator during meetings.
Option One is similar to the system Comox has, according to the Courtenay staff report, and simply features one stationary camera with audio.
Council unanimously chose option one.
Coun. Manno Theos noted he watched a Comox meeting as well as other municipal council meetings with more advanced systems. He said the simple system works, and he would like to start with that and see how many people watch the meetings online.
"At this point I would just be very interested to see what kind of response we get with the very standard product, that does the job and is doing it in our neighbouring community, and to go from there," he said.
Courtenay staff will move forward with the project now, and there is money set aside in the 2013 budget for the system, according to the staff report. Once the system is up and running, videos will be posted on the City's website.