Thursday, January 19, 2012

Live reporting - Town Council - 1/18/12

Present: Mercer, Dellorco, Kelly, Powderly, Vallee, Pfeffer, Jones, Bissanti, Roy
Absent: none


This meeting is being recorded by Verizon, Comcast, and Franklin Matters




F. HEARINGS - none


H. PRESENTATIONS/DISCUSSIONS – Discussion of Remote Participation
Nutting recommendation to hold off on this for now, would require additional technology to provide for all meetings to have this benefit. If critical discussions need to be had, the agendas can be adjusted and have been. This is not just for the Town Council, it would also need to be made available for the other 25 committees.

Roy - The Attorney General did study and allow this. In my opinion this would be at no cost. You can do audio and video or just audio. The technology we have is already here. If we don't do remote participation as a board, we prohibit every other group from doing so. It would inhibit participation in the government. Mansfield, Weston, Natick, and others have already passed. Was able to participate remotely via a laptop connection with a FHS committee. I don't think we should pass it up.

Nutting - there is a cost, we would need to put additional technology into the rooms where meetings are held. There is an expense. It is a complication that we don't need now. As volunteers, we understand we won't make all the meetings.

Mercer - I would support remote access for two reasons, it might allow for more participation for those who travel a lot. I travel to China and speak with meetings here a lot.

Powderly - Not sure that approving this now has such a dramatic effect for the other committees. It is like our moving to electronic documentation, we are trying it now. It is not saying all the others have to do so.

Kelly - I agree with my fellow councilors, I don't see a reason why we would not be able to do this.

Nutting - but you got to do it everywhere. If you miss a meeting, it is not the end of the world.

Bissanti - I would like to be part of a group to try this.

Jones - I don't think we should help foster a remote participation just because it is not available.

Bissanti - if we are not the first community to do this, can we make some calls to see how they are doing it?

Roy - I am not advocating for us to spend any cost on this, I believe it can be done without cost.

Jones - If it is all possible to have a demo on the simplicity of the process.

Nutting - I think it is a lot easier here than some other rooms we have and the knowledge of the users. I'll get the get some additional info and costs.

Nutting - it is the Chief Executive Officer who decides (in our case the Town Administrator)

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