Who watches the live streams of Princeton council meetings?
Practically no one.
Director of finance James Graham, who oversees the technical aspects of the live streaming service, told The Spotlight sometimes only one or two people view the meetings.
“I don’t think I’ve seen a double digit number on a council meeting,” said Graham.
He added because the videos are archived, people might be watching them after the meetings.
A COVID order to close meetings to the public, issued earlier this year, has not significantly impacted viewership, Graham added.
Live-streaming meetings was one of Mayor Spencer Coyne’s election promises, made before the 2018 municipal vote.
Software for the project costing $4,500 was purchased in December of the same year, and the live stream roll out was tied to the launch of the town’s new website in April 2019.
Coyne said providing access and transparency to council discussions is more important than the number of people tuning in.
“We are giving people access,” he said. “It’s not always the most riveting content.”
Having video of a meeting, that can be referred to, is also valuable, he said.
There are occasional bugs with the system.
For example, the first half of council’s Dec. 7 meeting didn’t stream.
In past town hall has received complaints about issues with audio, related to volume.
Coyne said town staff works diligently to address concerns.
The mayor is pleased that when COVID hit, Princeton already had live-streaming in place. Some bodies, including the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen, had to scramble to set up access to meetings.
Other municipalities, for example Langford, have decided against live-streaming.
The Langford council, which holds its meetings by teleconference, recently voted against a motion to live-stream.
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