GALLIPOLIS — Rookie Commissioner Cody Caldwell suggested during commissioner discussion at the regular Gallipolis City Commission meeting the organization consider live streaming its meetings online for greater transparency with the public, Tuesday evening.
“Since the city has an official Facebook page, I had thought maybe that we could live stream our meetings, ” said Caldwell. “Because one of the things I wanted to see is greater civic engagement…It’s the same people that come to our meetings every time, and nobody knows what’s really going unless there’s a problem that involves them…Five people might watch it. Who knows how many people might watch it? But just so people could have the opportunity to know that it’s there, they could see what goes on instead of just knowing there’s a problem now you come to the meeting.”
Caldwell said he felt City Commission President Mike Fulks was “okay with it” from previous conversations. Commission Vice-President Stephen Wallis said he felt a lot of government organizations had done that in the past but it was something the commission had not previously considered. Fulks was not present for the Tuesday meeting.
“I think it would be nice to get the feedback,” said colleague Commissioner Beau Sang in support, “but somehow people might get on there just to say inappropriate stuff.”
Caldwell said he felt it may be necessary to state the idea of a live stream would have live video but may not have live interaction.
Commissioner Tony Gallagher asked City Solicitor Adam Salisbury if there would be any privacy laws the commission would need to consider. Salisbury responded with a head shake.
City Manager Gene Greene asked the Caldwell if he had an idea of equipment costs to go through with a streaming effort. The commissioner responded he had found simple stands for little cost and the city would only need device that had streaming capabilities such as a phone or tablet.
“Let’s let these guys look into it and get back to us,” said Wallis.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.