New equipment for recording private council meetings

A scene from the City of Cornwall council meeting webcast. The city is spending $7,500 in 2015 to upgrade the software running this webcast and also installing a new camera. It's primarily being upgraded to allow council to record private (in-camera) meetings. (Cornwall Newswatch/City of Cornwall/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – The city will be spending $7,500 for updated software and a new camera to record private council meetings.

Council agreed Monday night to include the expense in the 2015 budget, which will likely come from the either the clerk or council departmental budget.

“That’s going to be the best $7,500 the corporation has ever spent,” exclaimed Coun. Andre Rivette, after being cornered behind closed doors by some of his peers during the previous administration.

“If we spent that money years ago we would have saved tons of money,” he said, referring to the money doled out in lawyer’s fees and judgments over issues dealt with partly in private.

The $7,500 will pay for secure, upgraded software and a wide-angled camera.

While the new software is supposed to guarantee private recordings stay private, Coun. Carilyne Hebert suggested the new camera would make public web casts a more pleasurable experience.

“It’s awful…watching on this,” she said, pointing to the three fixed cameras in the ceiling of the council chambers.

Council also learned the new software will allow staff to Geo-track viewers (know which areas of the city people are watching the city web cast) and also know how long they are viewing.

It’s not known how soon the new software and camera will be installed.

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