Portsmouth City Council meetings will be televised on a local cable access channel, President Howard Baughman said.
“We're moving along,” he said. “And yeah, we're going to put it on TV. But first, we have to work with Time Warner because there has to be a policy. But it will happen.”
Baughman said City Council wanted to wait until a new city building was built before televising meetings.
But with no plans in place for a new building, he said meetings from the current municipal building will be televised.
Baughman said City Council will address the issue in the coming months.
“My original thought was to have it direct-wired like the city schools,” he said. “Because in our cable agreement, that's in there.”
The city would have to decide on a broadcast schedule with Time Warner Cable and appropriate about $2,000 or $3,000 for recording equipment.
“That's not a lot of money,” Baughman said. “But it's just duplicating the process because I thought we'd move ahead a little faster with the city building than we have.”
City Council has been hesitant in the past to televise meetings because of the security concerns of the municipal judges.
City Council has its twice-monthly meetings in a municipal courtroom.
But Baughman said those concerns have been eased.
“It's not really an issue as long as the judges know the camera is turned off,” he said. “We'll be OK.”
Some residents have addressed City Council and accused it of not wanting the public to see the meetings. But Baughman disputed that claim.
“It's not that we didn't want to,” he said. “We wanted to do it the right way. We're already on the radio, the Portsmouth Daily Times covers us and it's a public meeting that anyone is allowed to attend.”
JEFF BARRON can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236.