The light is starting to glow in our Town and thanks for this go to Councilpersons Odierna and Fishman, who have publicly indicated, support for more transparency in the Town of Mamaroneck government. A first step would be making all the meetings of the Town Board, including the “work sessions” – where most of the real discussion of issues happen – available live on LMC-TV and also available as ‘video-on-demand’ on the Internet.
You can read Councilperson Odierna’s comment at http://tellernie.blogspot.com/2009/09/it-has-been-brought-to-my-attention-by.html and Councilperson Fishman’s comment here in the Larchmont Gazette at http://www.larchmontgazette.com/letters/board-should-air-all-public-sessions-on-tv-online/ .
The Town Board is supposed to address the issue on October 7th at 5 pm – in the Town Center, but unfortunately out of the camera’s view. There are three members of the Town Board other than Councilpersons Odierna and Fishman. Only one more member of the Board would be needed to pass the resolution.
Cable-TV subscribers, regardless of their TV service provider, pay a franchise fee which includes a government channel. So let’s not hear that the Town can’t afford to be seen by its residents. The Town Board has the resolution in front of it – many thanks to the City of Rye, where a Council member prepared the original of it and we understand that the Rye City Council considered and enacted such a resolution last week.
[Editor's Note: a call to the City of Rye confirmed that the resolution did pass on September 16, 2009. ]
Please join me in thanking, supporting and encouraging Councilpersons Odierna and Fishman. Then let’s expect and encourage at least one other member of the Board – perhaps all – to have the insight and courage to support the resolution and bring more transparency to the government of the Town of Mamaroneck.
In our Town, let’s aim to set a shining example of real openness in government. With an election in November, let’s not allow this twinkling light to be dimmed and the curtains to remain drawn.
Town of Mamaroneck
WHEREAS, All of the ‘regular’ public meetings of the Town of Mamaroneck Board have always been televised on the Town of Mamaroneck government access cable television channel (‘LMC TV’) since that practice was adopted, and
WHEREAS, There are frequently ‘special’ public meetings and ‘workshop’ public meetings of the Town of Mamaroneck Board, which include discussions that are just as much in the public interest as those discussions which take place at ‘regular’ public meetings of the Town of Mamaroneck Board, and
WHEREAS, These ‘special’ and ‘workshop’ public meetings of the Town of Mamaroneck Board have not been televised on LMC TV, and
WHEREAS, There have recently been ‘special’ and workshop public meetings of the Town of Mamaroneck Board at which important public issues have been addressed, but these meetings have not been televised or recorded for public viewing, and
WHEREAS, the overwhelming majority of Town of Mamaroneck residents are unable to attend in person the live public meetings of the Town of Mamaroneck Board, due to the demands of busy family, professional lives and other reasons, and thus rely upon either the live LMC TV broadcast or the subsequent taped LMC TV broadcasts of the public meetings of the Town of Mamaroneck Board, in order to obtain unfiltered information from the meetings, and
WHEREAS, the residents of the Town of Mamaroneck deserve to have the opportunity to directly know and observe what is happening at all public meetings of the Town of Mamaroneck Board, and
WHEREAS, It is the intention of the Town of Mamaroneck and the Town of Mamaroneck Board to take measures to promote and encourage public access to all open and public meetings of the Town of Mamaroneck government, therefore
BE IT RESOLVED, That henceforth all public meetings of the Town of Mamaroneck Board – ‘regular’, ‘special’, ‘workshop’ or otherwise – be televised live on LMC TV and be recorded for subsequent rebroadcast on LMC TV, and for streaming on the Town of Mamaroneck website, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That if in the determination of the Town of Mamaroneck Administrator and the Town Comptroller/Town IT Director and the Director of LMC TV (or their designated replacements in case of their absence or vacancy in such positions), the necessary Town of Mamaroneck staff and/or LMC TV staff is unavailable to broadcast these public meetings on LMC TV, these public meetings will nonetheless be audiotaped by the Town of Mamaroneck Clerk, and the audiotape will then be played back on LMC TV and posted on the Town of Mamaroneck website, and will otherwise be available to the public for listening in the Town of Mamaroneck Clerk’s office, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That Town of Mamaroneck staff will take the appropriate measures to place a microphone(s) in the Town Board meeting room(s), so as to not disrupt the ‘informal’ setting of some public meetings that are not conducted with Board members seated on the dais.