City Council business to be broadcast on the web

........................................................................................................................................................................................

If everything goes according to plan, people will soon be able to keep up with City Council business live on the internet.

Polo Pineda, the Information Technology man at City Hall, updated the Socorro City Council on the project at its Feb. 3 meeting. Pineda said that the newly redesigned website has the capability of not only broadcasting the council meetings live, but also archiving them for later viewing.

“Valencia County Commission and T or C City Council meetings are already webcasting. We have everything already in place for this,” he said.

Pineda said they are working with JCG Technology out of Scottsdale, Ariz. — a company that handles webcasting for other commisions, councils and even courts.

City Clerk Pat Salome said council webcasting will help City Hall in its goal for more transparency.

“We’ve been working toward this for quite a while,” Salome said. “Of course, the best way to see the city government at work is to physically go to the meetings, but most of the time, people just don’t want to come.”

Salome said Comcast subscribers have been able to watch the meetings through a local access channel for more than two decades.

“People have had access to city council meetings in their homes for 22 years,” he said. “These days, people are more and more getting used to getting their information off the internet.”

Salome said he expects the meetings will still be carried on local access as well.

Live streaming on the internet is only part of the plan. The video will be archived and will be linked to the digitized minutes.

“Once the minutes are put up on the website, you’ll be able to search the minutes for the item on the agenda you are interested in. If you don’t want to sit and watch the whole meeting, you can go to a bookmark, click that, and go straight to that spot on the video,” Salome said. “The whole idea is to provide more information about how our city government operates, and do it on a more universal scale, not limited to cable,” he said.

The price tag of getting the system up and running is estimated to be from $8,000 to $9,000, with a monthly license fee after that, according to Salome.

“I don’t think we’re too far away,” he said.