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    Wow! City Hall To Launch System Letting Public Retrieve Streaming Video of Past Council Meetings, Including Specific Agenda Items

    (Dec. 20, 2003) -- In a quantum leap forward in public's ability to access past statements and actions of their city officials, City Hall's Dept. of Technology Services has announced that effective December 23, 2003, it "will offer the public the ability to retrieve and view streaming video of past City Council meetings from the City’s website."

    A memo by Curtis Tani, Acting Director of Technology Services, approved by City Manager Jerry Miller and agendized for the December 23 Council meeting, describes a system with technological sophistication unimaginable only a few years ago:

    ...Technology Services acquired a new system about a year ago to make streaming video of past Council meetings available on demand through the City’s website. During the past several months, Technology Services and the City Clerk have worked collaboratively to implement the new system. In addition to providing the ability to watch entire Council meetings, the system allows the public to view a specific agenda item by selecting the meeting date and agenda number. If the public does not know the meeting date, they will be able to find it by using a key word search.

    The system also brings together video and a text summary of Council meeting actions. It allows the public to access the text minutes from the finished agenda. Within the text minutes, the public will be able to link to the corresponding video segment if they are interested in viewing the item. Implementation of the new system offers the public a complete record of City Council meetings via the Internet, including the agenda, staff reports, video and text minutes. In addition to providing greater access to information, the new system will help improve service and efficiency. For example, the system will allow City Clerk staff to prepare minutes in real time during Council meetings. This will reduce the time required to publish minutes by several days, allowing the finished agenda to be available on the web within a couple of days after a meeting. Also, the new system will save City Clerk and Technology Services staff time responding to requests for audio and videotapes of City Council agenda items.

    Furthermore, there are several other benefits of the new system. It will allow the City to make other video information, such as public service announcements, available on demand through the City’s website. The system will also provide City departments the ability to offer video training to employees at their desktop, thereby reducing costs and increasing access to training.


    The new system will be available to the public from the City’s website on December 23, 2003.


    The City will experience savings in staff time required to prepare City Council meeting minutes and to respond to requests for meeting excerpts. We will also achieve savings in employee training costs through video training on demand from the workstation.

    The December 23 Council meeting will take place at a special time: 1 p.m.

    [ comment: Wow! This is a powerful public service. Congratulations and kudos to all responsible for this.]

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