East Providence Mayor James Briden wants to bring back live streaming of the City Council and School Committee meetings.
Streaming was eliminated as part of the cuts in the City Clerk’s budget made by the East Providence Budget Commission soon after it arrived
“I know it is a budget expense,” said Briden. “But it has a benefit to society, and makes us a better city.”
Live streaming of the meetings is the second issue Briden wants to address at Monday’s special City Council meeting. It starts at 6 pm in City Hall.
City Council meetings can still be viewed on cable TV on the two days after the Tuesday meetings at noon and 9 pm. But those times are not convenient for many people in East Providence, a city the mayor describes as having “residents who are very engaged.”
“It’s a strength we have as a city,” he said. “I was surprised when I was campaigning how much interaction there is with local government and how many people said they followed meetings through live streaming.”
Briden views that interaction via watching meetings live as “as a significant part of getting people involved in the future” – and, perhaps, convincing people to run for elective office or serve on city boards and commissions.
“I think it can be a catalyst to get people to serve,” he said.
Briden will ask the rest of the City Council on Monday to support his attempt to restore live streaming at next week’s budget commission meeting. The estimated cost is $3,000 to $6,000, said City Clerk Kim Casci.
“Other advantages of live streaming,” Casci said, “is that the video can be archived and linked to an electronic docket.”
If someone wants to go back and view part of a meeting again, it is there for them, she said. And they don’t have to watch three hours of a meeting to view just the part they want to see. They can fast forward or rewind.