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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

CEGs Hickory City Council Checklist - 2/19/2013

CEGs first 5 proposals for a more representative City Council

CEG's HDR Letter to the Editor - Unedited Version - from 10/10/12

✓ 1) Move time for citizens requesting to be heard to the top of the agenda at City council meetings. As of tonight February 19, 2012, we have accomplished this objective. The Council should be thanked for doing the right thing.

2) Demand that council members take conflict of interest matters more seriously. The Mayor did recuse himself at a City Council meeting a month ago. Once again the right thing to do and he is to be commended. We do need to make policies that will clean up this area going into the future.

1/2✓ 3)Record and broadcast City Council meetings via Charter Cable and the internet. The meetings, as those who follow the Hound understand, are already available on Youtube. You will see when I get the Broadcast of this February 19th meeting up that the City Manager and some of the Council wanted to pretend and belittle these broadcasts of the meetings, it only made them look silly. You have to weigh desires with reality. Does the public care about a Hollywood production? And is a Hollywood production possible and feasible?

I have only been recording the meetings to force the issue. I am not doing this for ego sake. I was asked to do this by others and they provided the support, because they want this issue moved forward. This is about trust and accountability as Cliff Moone said on this night and I have said before. This isn't about vanity. This should have happened years ago and a desire to fly under the radar is the only reason why it hasn't.

It is a good first step that the audio of the meetings along with Power Point presentations are going up, as has been put forth on the Hound for a while now. I haven't wanted to have a relation with the City, at this point, to go through the steps to procure these Power Points, so I have taken the pictures and post the photos for you. I see how the Hickory Daily Record's relationship with the city can compromise their coverage and why would I want to follow suit? I am not saying this to call out the HDR. I am only pointing to the obvious. In yesterday's paper, the HDR reported some cost numbers the City had put forward related to Video. There were no questions asked to verify the authenticity of those cost numbers, so those numbers are meaningless. They seem to have been pulled out of the air in much the same way that the numbers were pulled out of the air about the Structure on Union Square. And the HDR didn't question those numbers either. We won't be playing that game.

Video is obviously nowhere near as hard as they are making it out to be. The City Manager and a few on Council wanted to talk about the quality of such video presentations. They seemed to insinuate that I am using a flip phone and my quality is cheesy. I have attempted to be inconspicuous and disturb the proceedings as little as possible and still get the audience the information and a feel for the meetings.

The City Manager and Council want to monopolize the presentation of information to the people. The information that belongs to the people, not Mick Berry or Jill Patton. The fact is that I am using a Sony Bloggie High Definition Camera capable of 1920x1080p broadcasts at 30 frames per second. I have to reduce the quality through rendering to 720x480p at 24 frames per second to reduce the size of the files for upload onto Youtube. Not only to reduce upload time, but also to reduce download time. These cameras are 12 megapixel quality. If I want to shoot somebody's nosehair, I have that capability. The fact of the matter is that this video rendering still is a 500 megabyte file for 1 hours worth of video and the upload of that one hour's video takes approximately three hours. The issues involve bandwidth and upload speed. Maybe, as I have stated before, the City ought to be working on that 21st century infrastructure issue.

It was obvious to anyone other than a layman that the Council didn't have a clue about what they were talking about pertaining to this issue.
We hope, going forward, that they will evolve on this issue as they did on the Citizen Input issue. 

4) Restore citizen’s right to request that items be removed from the consent agenda. As of tonight February 19, 2012, we have accomplished this objective. The Council should be thanked for doing the right thing. All of the handwringing over this issue last May, only to come full circle back to where we started. If money is time and time is money, then let's quit wasting time and get this community moving forward again.

5) Make “working agendas” available by Wednesday of each week before a City council meeting to give citizens time to be aware and prepare for meetings. This should happen also. Most people aren't going to look at the Agenda when it comes out on Friday evening. They have worked all week and they are looking to get home and chill out over the weekend. They are more worried about Friday dinner than a City Council Agenda. They say that Corporate Entities like to put out information on Friday Evenings for this very reason, especially negative information; because they know that people won't do anything over the weekend.


*** The City Council Meeting lasted for 3 hours last night. It will take a couple hours to get it ready and several hours to upload it. I will upload it in sections with the Newsletter coming out the day after the video is out. Thank You for your patience and your support.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations CEG! It's good to see the people taking back some input into their governance. More needs to be done and more people need to become involved. There are intelligent, caring, and dedicated people out there than can lend to the process and help.

Incumbent don't have to like the message or the messenger, but instead of dismissing it out of hand, why don't you take the time to listen and consider? It might work, it hasn't been tried yet.