At the Limerick Township council meeting on June 21, Mayor Carl Stefanski asked Victoria Tisdale, the clerk and treasurer, if they could start livestreaming their council meetings to Facebook as they do with the Hastings County meetings. She said that they couldn’t at present with the software they had, but she would look into alternate ways of getting their meetings live streamed online as soon as possible.
With COVID-19 and its restrictions over the past year and a half, the ability of township councils to move to online streaming of their meetings has been vital. Now that COVID-19 is hopefully on the downslide, some councils are considering keeping the online facet of their meetings to make them even more accessible than they were before. While Stefanski mentioned Hastings County as one such example, Tudor and Cashel Township and South Algonquin Township also livestream their meetings on Facebook and YouTube respectively.
Stefanski posed this question to Tisdale during his Mayor’s update at the June 21 meeting. Tisdale said they were now using the I Compass basic version for their online meetings, but to be able to livestream to YouTube and Facebook they would need to upgrade, which would cost $4,800, double what they paid for the basic version.
This revelation was met by a firm no from Stefanski, who said that was far too much money and called it “highway robbery.”
Tisdale said she could have a look and see if there was another way to do it.
“There may be another way to get around that, perhaps another streaming platform we could use. I’ll do some research and see if I can find something,” she says.
Council also discussed just putting the recorded Zoom meetings directly on the township website, so that constituents and anyone interested could review them at any time, which Tisdale said she would do as soon as possible.
Tisdale said in a June 24 email that she had just purchased an OWL camera for Zoom meeting hosting when council meets again in July.
“I hope that helps with the feedback and technological issues we’ve been dealing with. I will be researching for alternative solutions to posting the [council meeting] videos and once I have figured it out, I will put them on the new website once launched.”
Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times