My Turn by Charles M. Kelly
Why not our town?
Most neighboring cities put council meetings online
Editor’s note: This column was accurate when first published on Dec. 8, 2016. Since that time, however, Paramount City Council videos have become available at YouTube, but remain unavailable on the city’s own website. That said, it’s a start.
Recently, I resumed my long-standing plea that Paramount should make its meetings more accessible by broadcasting meetings.
With that in mind, I looked at what surrounding communities are doing.
The City of Downey posts City Council videos online and streams them live on the city website.
Paramount doesn’t do either.
The City of Compton—the home town of my early childhood—posts City Council videos online and streams them live on the city website. But not Paramount. (Compton City Council also meets more often, but I don’t yet see any need for weekly meetings.)
You can hear recordings of City of South Gate council sessions if you sign up for an account with soundcloud.com.
You can occasionally find a video of a segment of a Paramount council meeting on YouTube.
Norwalk seems to be following Paramount’s example. You’ll find agendas of council meetings and a synopsis of a past meeting on the website unless no action is taken. Paramount posts agendas and staff reports, but does not post summaries of actions taken at meetings. (My advice: if you’re curious about meeting results, call the City Clerk’s Office and ask.)
You can watch live and archived video of City of Cerritos City Council meetings “on most desktop browsers and a range of popular mobile devices,” according to that town’s website.
But not Paramount. Nor, apparently, does the City of Lakewood.
City Council meetings there are “cablecast live on CityTV channel 31 and are reshown on the cable channel on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 7:30 a.m./p.m. until the next council meeting. See the CityTV-Channel 31 cablecasting schedule. View live stream of CityTV Channel 31,” according to Lakewood’s website.
I’ve said before and I’ll say again that putting meeting videos online—and, while we’re at it, streaming them live—is within Paramount’s financial reach. It is clearly within everyone’s technological reach. Even following South Gate’s example wouldn’t hurt as a start.
It’s time for Paramount City government to join the 21st century.