Call for area transparency

Published 9:12 pm Tuesday, February 20, 2018


I appreciated the column by Titus Mohler about our state government and our delegates who regularly reach out to the citizens. Mr. Mohler mentioned the initiative, new this year, of live streaming the floor sessions and committee hearings of both the Senate and House of Delegates. This is a great feature that I have used several times when I wanted to find out how the debate proceeded on bills that I am interested in. It is very instructive to hear the arguments on both sides, and with video you can see and hear so much more than you would get from a written report.

Closer to home, it would be great if our local governments would also institute live streaming of their meetings. I have on several occasions requested that the Prince Edward County School Board and the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors live stream and archive their meetings, but they have voted against it. My reason for asking for this transparency is for the benefit of the citizens who cannot attend school board meetings, especially since they are held in the afternoons when most citizens are working. I am sympathetic to the many parents whose children receive recognition at the school board meetings, and the parents either can’t attend because of work schedules or must take off work to attend a mid-afternoon meeting. It is mystifying as to why the school board members are resistant to this practical use of technology since the cost of it is not even an issue. A former school board member even offered to pay the cost of it out of his own pocket, and the board still voted against it.

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I feel that they may be persuaded to change their minds about this issue if the citizens let them know that they would welcome live-streamed meetings. I invite all citizens who would like our school board to live stream and archive their open meetings to join me at the next school board meeting and speak up to let our board know how you feel about this issue.

Cindy Koether