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Selectmen’s Meetings Could be Televised.

During their Dec. 17 meeting, the Selectmen heard an updated proposal from Bedford TV on the installation of a video system in the Selectmen Meeting Room.

Bedford’s Board of Selectmen may not be camera shy after all.

One of the area’s only executive boards whose meetings are untelevised by a local cable access provider, the selectmen Monday appeared open to letting Bedford Community Access Television into their meeting room.

After hearing a pair of proposals from BCAT President Ron Cordes, the selectmen asked Cordes to price out one of the options to allow meetings to be broadcast to the community.

The first, according to the proposal, would see one permanently mounted remote-controlled camera on the wall facing the Selectmen's table. 

The second option presented by Cordes includes two cameras on the wall facing the Selectmen, one on the wall behind the Selectmen's table facing the audience and also the capability to switch to a digital feed if the Selectmen are receiving a PowerPoint presentation from a computer. 

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The camera would be controlled by a portable field video switcher, according to Cordes, which would be housed in a small suitcase, allowing all three cameras to be operated by a single cameraman.

Cordes said with either option the Selectmen could decide whether to broadcast their meetings live, or record them to tape and broadcast them after they happen. 

Selectman William Moonan urged the other Selectmen to ask Cordes to move forward with the second option. 

"We're probably one of the few towns in this area that doesn't broadcast their business," Moonan said. 

Surrounding towns such as Lexington, Concord, Sudbury, Burlington, Woburn, Brookline and Needham broadcast their local government meetings, most on local cable access channels.

Selectmen Chairwoman Catherine Cordes said the video system would also open up the possibility for other town committees, such as Finance Committee and Planning Board, to begin broadcasting their meetings. 

While there was nothing to vote on regarding the proposal for a video system, the Selectmen expressed their support for moving forward with the second option, asked Ronald Cordes to move forward with researching the costs for the project.

It likely wouldn’t cost the town anything to equip the selectmen’s meeting room to allow meetings to be televised, officials said.

When the town renewed its' franchises with cable providers Comcast and Verizon several years ago, funds were allotted to the town from the providers for cable television related projects, and these funds would be eligible for this project, according to Town Manager Richard Reed. 

Joe Piantedosi December 22, 2012 at 03:06 PM
This is a good idea and can help more people develop an interest in Town government

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