Online Council Meetings Pitched
The service being pitched was production of live or on-demand council meetings online. The company, Granicus, even posts agendas and supplementary documents. Viewers can click on specific items of interest rather than plowing through one long agenda.
The company has 500 clients, regional sales manager Hilda Stevens said, including Somerville and Brick in New Jersey. Early signup carries discounts, she said, noting Brick got a 50 percent discount.
The cost is based on community population. Stevens cited for Plainfield a one-time $12,000 fee and $900 a month, before discounts.
Keyword searches, Twitter and Facebook are other options for users.
Stevens said Plainfield could be eligible for discounts from 15 to 40 percent.
But when she mentioned that the service had to be validated with the city’s IT team, the audience in City Hall Library broke into laughter. There is no “team” at present.
As with past presentations, it was unclear what the governing body was expected to do except to listen. There was no resolution up for consideration and if there had been, it would have had to come from the administration to the governing body. On at least one similar occasion, City Administrator Marc Dashield challenged the rationale for having such a presentation at a council meeting.
The company is based in San Francisco and Atlanta and its goal is advancing transparency in government. If Ms. Stevens traveled all that far for Monday’s meeting, bless her heart, as my late father used to say.