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Middletown council meetings will be live-streamed on borough website

By Dan Miller

danmiller@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 1/31/18

Middletown Borough Council has begun live-streaming its public meetings on the borough website, www.middletownborough.com.

“Tonight we are doing a test run,” Borough Manager Ken …

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Middletown council meetings will be live-streamed on borough website

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Middletown Borough Council has begun live-streaming its public meetings on the borough website, www.middletownborough.com.

“Tonight we are doing a test run,” Borough Manager Ken Klinepeter told council during the Jan. 23 meeting, pointing out the camera on a tripod facing the members of council sitting around the table.

Live-streaming will go live during council’s next meeting on Feb. 6, Klinepeter said. However, you can watch the Jan. 23 meeting on the website.

Klinepeter told the Press & Journal it is not known yet how long each meeting will be on the website before being removed.

The borough has other public meetings, including the planning commission, zoning hearing board, etc. However only council meetings are to be live-streamed on a regular basis, Klinepeter said.

The borough paid $799 for the camera. There is a $2,388 annual live-stream subscription fee. Right now those are the only costs. However, Klinepeter during the council meeting said it might be necessary to purchase an auxiliary microphone, in case the one in the camera isn’t good enough for audio pickup.

The camera for the Jan. 23 meeting was positioned in front of the podium that people stand at when they address council. As a result, viewers could not see who was addressing council, but they could hear them.

Council meetings had been live-streamed frequently in the past, usually by Mayor James H. Curry III holding up a smartphone and broadcasting on his own Facebook page.

Curry had urged council and the borough come up with a better way.

Klinepeter said council meetings will not be live-streamed to the borough’s Facebook page, because of people being able to post comments to the page.

The borough would have to monitor these comments daily, raising staffing concerns, and the comments themselves raise issues regarding potential litigation and having to comply with the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know law, Klinepeter said recently.