Letter sent to Virginian-Pilot last year. Edited version was published
|It is my understanding that the only hold-up in televising Norfolk City Council meetings is City Council itself. It is further my understanding that Council Chambers are technologically ready for such televising of meetings.
I have also heard a quote attributed to Mayor Fraim at a Norfolk Civic League meeting recently that he is against televising council meetings because he does not want people to use council meetings as a place to air their agendas. Well, if that is what the Mayor actually stated, or even if he stated something close to that, he needs to move on to a profession that does not require public input.
Well, gentlemen, and ladies, tell me, if not at city council, where do citizens get to "air their agendas"? Are citizen "agendas" so vile that they fall beneath Council's desire to hear them? Are not citizens going to air their agendas if the meetings are televised or not? Are not speakers at council held to a specific time limit, and do they not have to sign up for a time slot prior to the council meetings? If that is the case, then I see no problem with citizens airing their agendas. Actually, I see no problem anytime citizens want to be heard by their governing bodies. It should be encouraged.
Other Hampton Roads cities have made use of their Cox channel to televise their council meetings, and other events pertinent to the governing of their citizens. I want Norfolk to do the same, and I want Norfolk to do it ASAP.
Summary of actions I'd like to see taken by Norfolk City Council:
I would be interested in knowing what other council members feel about televised Norfolk City Council meetings. I would like City Council to initiate a plan that will provide televised meetings no later than Spring 2003.