Thursday, July 16, 2009

Q the Eye/07.16.09

Dear LakeCountyEye,

I just got elected mayor for the first time and already the pesky voters are demanding things like televised village meetings. Do you have any idea how hard it is to stay awake all the way through one of those? Besides, the fewer people who see what goes on at these meetings, the better. Knowwhatimean? I need some media-savvy advice!

My Resolutions Will Not Be Televised
Dear NOTV,

Your LakeCountyEye knows exactly what you mean. You sweet talk some locals into voting for you and all of a sudden they think you owe them the world. Sheesh.

Anyways, take heart and follow the lead of the village government over in Libertyville, where they had the same problem. Their clever solution was to green-light a video surveillance system for their municipal parking garage. The News-Sun has the details:
Trustees voted on Tuesday night to use $50,000 to purchase a video monitoring system that will keep a watchful eye on the village's new Lake Street municipal parking garage that opens early this fall.
This was clever because it flat busted their A/V budget. According to another News-Sun story, a public request to televise Libertyville meetings got quickly deep-sixed because of budget concerns:
Mayor Terry Weppler said a study by the board's Special Projects Committee shows it is too costly to implement the service at this time, particularly when the village is operating on a tight fiscal budget. The concept of improving board communications was a main plank in Weppler's platform when he ran for mayor in April. Cost estimates for carrying out such an effort ran from $10,000 to as high as $100,000, dependent upon whether it would be a staffed for live broadcast or taped for viewing later over a public service channel.
Or as the old saying goes, if you want to shoot some movies you first have to pay the peeper.

One thing to avoid is the mistake they made in Libertyville. The $50,000 surveillance system was approved after they squashed that request for televised meetings. Which was just like an open invitation for residents to now ask embarrassing questions like ...
... where was this magic fifty grand hiding back when we asked you to televise the meetings?
No doubt Mayor Weppler Libertyville's Trustees now have a potential problem on their hands.

Your LakeCountyEye would advise a compromise in this situation. Just promise those pesky voters that you will aim a couple of those outdoor surveillance cameras at the village hall on the nights when you meet. It's not 100% the same thing as televising the meetings, but you at least get pictures of everyone who walks into the building to attend the meeting.

A win-win for everyone!

If you are an elected official, or a previously elected official, or just a private citizen under indictment, send your political questions to Q the Eye c/o ...


Anonymous said...

Why not just use a digital recorder and post it on your webpage. Take a look at Shield's Township Website for an great example!

If people want to see the gang live in action, then ask them to come to a board meeting and see youz guys up front and personal.

Anonymous said...

Anyone can video tape a meeting, sooo, just video the meeting and show it on Web. Not the same as the Village or Town brodcasting the meeting, but if you know how to edit the tape-soon the Town or Village will want to televise their meetings. :)

Jim Moran's Libertyville Blog said...

It should be pointed out that certain members of the village board who were opposed to this idea. Trustee Drew Cullum said that he's never heard a request for video taped meetings. I guess he didn't see my Letter to the Editor in the News-Sun a few months ago on the topic. :)

It was Mayor Weppler who introduced this idea to the village board after he received numerous requests for the televised meetings. It was the board who didn't like the idea - I'd expect them to revisit this idea again sometime next year.

Barney Baxter said...

Thanks, Libertyville News Blog, for the intel. I made a correction.

Jim Moran's Libertyville Blog said...

Hey BB,

No problem! :)