Moving to Virtual Democracy - Watch Now

March 23, 2020

Town Meeting TV is in regular contact with our local governments in Burlington, South Burlington, Essex, Essex Junction, Winooski, Williston so that we can keep the wheels of democracy turning and continue to record, stream and archive remote public meetings. We have been in touch with the Secretary of State to monitor “open meeting” fundamentals, which may be changing through Legislative action.

You can view these at www.ch17.tv, YouTube playlists and on our cable channels: Comcast 17 and BT 17/ 317.

Town Meeting TV is committed to working to stream, capture and, importantly, archive upcoming meetings for future reference.
We will also capture important announcements and Town Halls offered by elected officials on Facebook or other platforms as we are informed of them.

Local government officials are largely working with Zoom, although GoToMeeting and other platforms are being set up for governing bodies to host meetings and involve the community in these discussions and deliberations.

Also: We thought that you might find the following tips for maximizing the productivity of your online meetings to be useful. Here is a solid check list. A few more points to consider:

Get Familiar with the Platform - If your council or selectboard or commission is new to Zoom (or whichever platform you choose) arrange for a test drive in advance of your first meeting. Make sure your settings accommodate the elected officials participating in the meeting and include a channel for the public. Work with the chair to identify and practice protocols for calling on all members and receiving in put from members from the public. Remember the “mute” button and set its controls appropriately. Muting is a necessary and important way to keep the meetings quiet and on task.

Designate a staff member to moderate comments/ questions from your public “channel”. Managing an online event has specific requirements. These include welcoming participants at the beginning, sorting through comments v. questions, relaying these to the chair, and checking that responses are received.

Consider extending the time frame for gathering public input to include several days before and/or after your meeting. Please be sure to let us know what public engagement platforms you choose to use.

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