Clarenville may not follow Grand Falls-Windsor lead
Citizens depend on government to keep them informed on any level.
The Town of Grand Falls-Windsor is keeping the lines of communication open by broadcasting their regular meetings through their local Cable TV provider. Recently they've gone one step further by making plans to live-stream a video broadcast of each meeting to their website so residents without cable, or those with alternative providers, can still see the meetings.
Coun. Paul Tilley, Clarenville town council's chair of the communications committee, doesn't think the idea would benefit the Town of Clarenville in the same way it does Grand Falls-Windsor.
Council meetings are open to the public, and council minutes are available on the town's website, though they have not been updated recently while the town searches for a new economic development officer.
In addition to this, The Packet records every meeting and makes the audio available on their website.
Tilley says one of the problems with television is that it takes a lot of manpower to operate and the viewership probably wouldn't be there.
"Recognizing the logistics of it, even though it's a neat idea, and I certainly would support it, for the purposes of what people want, the audio broadcasts work super," says Tilley.
He says the benefit versus cost and the time and energy would make it make it more hassle than it's worth.
"I've switched over to the web, between blogs and Facebook to achieve the same thing, with a lot less effort," he says.
He says the goal is to try and find the best way to keep the public informed and the new technology developed in the last 10 years is the way to do it.
"We want to engage people and we want people to be aware of what's going on in the town. People say it stirs up controversy, but democracy is dirty. It was never designed to be simple and I think people have to listen to hear, and if they can listen and see it's that much better. But there has to be a balance between how much effort you put into it," he says.
Tilley says video and editing takes a lot of time and effort. If they had someone dedicated to it then it would be worth it.
"You have to ask if people are just as informed with the audio," he says. "I think you've got 95 per cent of the information enclosed in the audio."