Kandiyohi County Board set to televise first meeting
WILLMAR - The television cameras are ready to roll in the Kandiyohi County boardroom on Tuesday. It will be the first time the Kandiyohi County Commissioners will have their meetings recorded for later broadcast on WRAC-8, the local cable access ...
WILLMAR - The television cameras are ready to roll in the Kandiyohi County boardroom on Tuesday.
It will be the first time the Kandiyohi County Commissioners will have their meetings recorded for later broadcast on WRAC-8, the local cable access channel.
The Commissioners decided last month to launch the experiment of televising the meetings.
The decision didn't come without concern on the part of staff and the Commissioners about how the cameras would change the atmosphere of the meetings, the board discussion and the affect on the public who appear before the board.
County Administrator Wayne Thompson said he thinks everyone's ready for the premier and that the meetings will be "pretty much the same" as always.
The County Board meets as the family service board from 9 to 10 a.m. on the first and third Tuesday of each month.
That segment of the meeting will not be recorded.
Only the general county board meeting, which typically lasts from 10 a.m. until noon, will be recorded and broadcast.
Thompson said his office will be advising staff and members of the public who want time on the agenda to be in the board room at least 15 minutes before their scheduled time. Sometimes the meeting goes a little faster than expected and Thompson said he would like people ready to go on early if necessary to prevent gaps in the tape.
The meetings will not be broadcast live.
The video tape will be taken to the WRAC-8 studio in downtown Willmar for minor editing before it is broadcast.
Rudy Vigil, from WRAC-8, said the meetings will be broadcast on channel 19 at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and at 11 a.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. The schedule may be expanded to weekend play times in the future.
When the Health and Human Services Building was constructed a little more than 10 years ago, four cameras and a recording booth were installed. The county board has made audio recordings of some meetings, but has never used the video recording system before.
Because of the age of the equipment - including only two cameras that work well - the quality of the broadcast won't be the best but it won't be bad, said Vigil, who has spent the last few weeks tweaking the system to increase the audio levels.
"Everything should be ready to go," he said.
The Commissioners have discussed upgrading the cameras and equipment. That decision may be delayed until they review the television experiment at the end of the year.
Vigil said he's excited to have new programming on WRAC-8 and is pleased there will now be another way for people to get information about county board action. "It should be good. I'm looking forward to it."
WRAC-8 currently goes to about 10,000 homes in Kandiyohi County.
Thompson said if all goes well, the county may look into the possibility of making the recorded meetings available on the county's Web site so it would be accessible to anyone with a computer and Internet access.