Belated TV time for YC council
September 18, 2005 - Just about two years ago, this column lamented why the Yuba City City Council was so reluctant to put its meetings on the local cable television system for everyone - or at least Comcast subscribers - to see.
Plenty of other cities throughout California televise their meetings, but Yuba City was just being Yuba City, or so it seemed.
Well, things can change in two years. Earlier this month, the City Council finally voted to hire a production company to tape the meetings and provide them for replay on the Comcast system.
Back in 2003, before deciding not to televise, the council distributed about 10,000 surveys to households in the city to gage public interest in having the meetings on television.
Shockingly, only about 100 people bothered to respond. The council rejected the TV plan.
Just think what Yuba City residents missed in the last 24 months. Well, for one, those debates about the new Wal-Mart were limited to people who crowded into the council chambers.
And there probably were plenty of other issues that, had they been on TV, would have interested the populace.
But that was the past. Now the council can look to a glorious future in thousands - well, maybe hundreds - of homes in Yuba City.
And maybe viewers outside of Yuba City will take an interest in the City Council of the largest city in Yuba-Sutter.
When the council first discussed televising its meetings in September 2003, cost became a major issue because the city would have to come up with $65,000 to buy the equipment.
Somebody got the bright idea in 2005 that maybe the city could save a lot of money by hiring a company to do the taping. What a thought!!
The city will pay $29,880 for a one-year contract - with two one-year options - to a local video company to tape the meetings.
"First and foremost, using a professional ensures a top-notch product," Assistant City Manager Steve Kroeger told the council in a memo. "Individuals who specialize in recording and production have the expertise to provide a product that cannot be matched by non-professionals."
In addition, he noted, the recording equipment is portable, so if the council ever meets outside of City Hall, those meetings can be taped. Not a bad idea.
Not only will council meetings be on TV, but Kroeger said they also will appear on the Internet within 48 hours.
With Yuba City on board with TV, that leaves the Yuba County supervisors, the city councils in Wheatland and Live Oak and the school boards in Yuba City and Marysville still in the dark ages.
One wonders how long it will take them to catch up.
E-mail Harold Kruger at email@example.com; or call him at (530) 749-4717. You can also write him at the Appeal-Democrat, P.O. Box 431, Marysville, CA 95901-0431.