Following discussion and a unanimous vote at its meeting Monday, The Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors will take a closer look at the possibility of livestreaming its meetings.
Following a discussion with Golden Triangle Planning and Development District computer analyst Tim Heard, the board voted to take a closer look at options to put its meetings on the internet. Heard said the cost would be $750 for a camera and $75 to livestream each meeting. However, he also said the board could broadcast its meetings on Facebook free of charge.
“Technology has changed up to now where we can do one camera that actually moves based on sound, so just the person that’s actually speaking (is on camera),” Heard said.
He told the board the camera could be acquired for approximately $750, along with the pod that supports it and a carrying case. He also said the camera could be transported easily, should the board ever need to move its meetings.
Heard said the initial cost for a livestreaming service would be approximately $75 a meeting. However, he said the firm increased prices as the number of watchers increased.
“I would say maybe initially, instead of doing it on livestream, doing it on Facebook,” Heard said. “Doing something like that would be a free service, and the public would just have to have a Facebook account.”
Heard said the videos could also be saved onto the county’s website at no additional cost.
“It’s just a recording, so it’s just a matter of storage space,” Heard said. “The storage is there. I’m not exactly sure how long your meetings are going to last, and stuff like that, but it should not be a problem.”
District 5 Supervisor Joe Williams expressed concerns regarding comments made on Facebook during live meetings.
“I’d rather be able to turn off comments,” Williams said. “If there’s a particular person that doesn’t want to be on camera, say they come up for a citizen comment period and a particular person doesn’t want to be on camera, is there a button that we can control instantly?”
Heard said there would be a way to turn off both the comments and the camera.
He also presented the board with the option of recording the meetings and posting them online afterward.
“I think we should move forward on this,” said District 4 Supervisor Bricklee Miller. The only decision would be whether we put it on Facebook or we put it on the website.”
Williams spoke in support, but said the issue warranted further discussion so the board was certain it was making the right decision.
“We’ll just gather the information, than make the determination at the board meeting whether we want to move forward,” Williams said.
Board President and District 2 Supervisor Orlando Trainer said the livestreaming would help more Oktibbeha County citizens stay informed.
“I think the time has come now to where we should be able to provide all of our citizens with live, real-time access to our meetings,” Trainer said.