Albemarle County residents could soon face another hurdle toward holding their Supervisors accountable. In what’s being billed as an efficiency move, the six member governing body will consider changing the record of board meetings from â€œnear-verbatimâ€ to â€œsummaryâ€ style minutes at its Wednesday night meeting.
Are they kidding? Governmental transparency is key to citizen oversight. Who chooses what is included in the “summary”? What if their agenda is different than yours or mine?
â€œPodcasting is where you would go for detail,â€ Catlin said, adding that the number of podcast listeners has significantly increased since the county began posting the podcasts in December 2006.
Transcripts need to be searchable – googleable, if you will. Audio search isn’t there yet, and one would hope that local government would be more accessible than the federal government. I feel sorry for Lee Catlin for having to make such a bogus argument for this possible change.
Sadly, there will doubtfully be similar outrage to that from a couple months ago when the Daily Progress got rid of their archives.
If it’s the cost that they’re concerned about, why not contract the transcription out to the cheapest, best and most efficient service?
Update 06/11/2008: By a 5 to 1 (Boyd) motion, the Board of Supervisors voted to continue providing verbatim records of BoS meetings. Thank you to the five who voted for transparency, accessibility and sunshine on local government.