Mar 21 2012

Budget Workshops not on KCOM?

Meetings May Return to Police Department Emergency Room – 

At the Monday, March 19 Council meeting,  Council member Garrett Keating inquired as to where the FY 2012-13 budget workshops would be held.  He expressed a desire to provide an easy opportunity for the public to observe the meetings via KCOM (Piedmont’s Cable Station).

Without support from the staff or the Council for Keating’s idea of televising the  workshops, the meetings evidently will return to the Police Department’s Emergency Room.  The room is not equipped for KCOM broadcasting or videotaping, and, according to staff, would require the increased cost of 3 KCOM staff members to televise the proceedings.

Keating pointed out that if the meetings were held in the Council Chambers, they could be televised and require only one staff member. He also mentioned the heightened interest and concern by residents about budgetary decisions.  Other Council members expressed no need for further transparency of the budget proceedings, preferring the more casual free flow of information afforded by the Police Department meeting room.

Observers in the past have complained about lack of seating for the public, difficulty in hearing speakers, and crowded conditions in the Police Department room.  Also, in previous years, no recordings have been made of the budget meetings held in the Police Department room.  Following suggestions by PCA and other interested residents last year, the Municipal Tax Review Committee moved its final three meetings to the Council Chambers, where they were broadcast on KCOM and could be viewed at home.


4 Responses to “Budget Workshops not on KCOM?”

  1. I encourage residents to attend the workshop. This Saturday meeting will be Council’s first best effort at addressing the fiscal recommendations of the Municipal Tax Review Committee and there may be significant changes to city expenditures discussed, or not, at this meeting. The setting is more informal and speakers are not limited to three minutes and can engage council members and city staff in dialogue. Subsequent Council meetings will provide public comment before approval of the budget but the work session provides key input to staff for making final revisions to the budget. And breakfast and lunch is served!

  2. Has a date for the budget workshop been set?

  3. Saturday May 19 is being circulated at the moment.

  4. We have appreciated the availability of public meetings to be viewed on KCOM. If it is a meeting that is theoretically available for viewing by the public, I believe it should be as accesible a possible.

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