Budget: Streaming

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I have frequently said that the budget process is inadequate, because it mostly deals with department level expenditures, while the devil is in the details. Here is one of those details:

Why are we spending $5,000 to do something which can be done at no cost? First of all, if the council continues using Zoom, at a cost of just $150 a year, we can stream on Zoom and continue to allow remote participation for both council members, when they are ill or out of town, and citizens who wish to comment. Beyond that, we can stream and archive the recordings on YouTube for public access, and also keep a local copy at city hall in case it is required for legal archival purposes.

Accomplishing this requires no technical expertise or preparation time. Our only suggestion is that the city should upgrade the camera in the council chambers, because the quality of people sitting at home looking at an iPad is presently superior to that of the master feed from city hall. Enabling the public to view and participate in council meetings via a high quality video feed is a great upgrade.

This is one of thousands of details in what the city spends every year. We’d like to see more. That’s why we have suggested, on multiple occasions, that Ferguson should establish a financial review board of business minded, granting them unlimited access to the city’s financial records. That would sure save the city a tremendous amount, and give residents confidence that their tax money was being spent wisely. The steadfast refusal of the city to allow this is one of the reasons why a state audit is needed.

PS – And this. Really?

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Nick Kasoff
Nick Kasoff, the editor of The Ferguson Observer, is a tax professional, landlord, information systems consultant, Libertarian committeeman, and community activist. A Ferguson resident since 2005, he formed the Observer with the help of a strong crew of fellow volunteers, who shared his belief that a regular record of the events and musings of this community was of great importance.