Does Clearview even have a majority of councillors prepared to vote in favour of approving REGULAR streamed video council meetings during and after the Covid 19 emergency in a public meeting where there is a recorded vote so the Clearview taxpayer can see just who is against transparency in Clearview?
For years residents have been asking for recorded or live streamed council meetings similar to those available from almost every adjacent municipality. Mayoral candidate Measures turned down assistance from a Clearview citizen who works in technology department for the Town of Wasaga Beach on how to set up live streaming of Clearview Council CITING "LEGAL ISSUES" for the refusal.
The Covid 19 emergency has now forced Clearview to start using technology that allows ANY resident to see and HEAR what is going on around the council table, how little discussion takes place on major spending decisions made by staff and how few are the questionsthat do get raised by councillors.
My wife, who along with our late neighbour had been denied equal access to the business of the township during meetings held at the council chambers because their letters requesting changes to the sound system were handed over to the CAO Sage to remedy with no resolution, can now "turn up the volume" to hear what is being discussed.
The expensive conversion of the council chambers to meet the disability requirements could be avoided and the council chambers eliminated and used for better purposes such as a food bank or the Youth Club. Councillors would also benefit by not having to deal with icy roads and bad weather to get to meetings and could stay nice and warm at home instead.
There are no more excuses for not using the streaming video technology being used for current meetings when the Covid 19 emergency ends so that taxpayers have the ability to see and hear exactly what council is doing even when the meetings are held at times when working residents cannot attend.
So, which councillors will stand up and represent the taxpayers of Clearview by supporting:
⊡ The continuance of ALL council and committee meetings in the long term using streaming technology.
⊡ Having REGULAR council and committee meetings throughout the Covid 19 emergency period and beyond.
⊡ Ensuring that the PUBLIC has a way to join the meetings to ensure that the "public comment" period can be provided using the chosen technology.
⊡ Requiring staff to publish FULL agendas (including EVERYTHING up for discussion or decision) at least 3 days before the meetings and to announce upcoming meetings "Front and Centre" as an overlay and LINK on the clearview.ca web site so that residents can know the time and have "click" access to connect to the meetings.
⊡ We are in the 21st century so lets get rid the archaic, childish and time wasting "Question from Councillor xxxx to the Chief Executive Officer through Mayor Doug Measures" with "Response from the Chief Executive Officer through Mayor Doug Measures to Councillor xxxx".
Will 5 or more of our 9 councillors stand up and be counted?
Why am I concerned about the long term use of streaming technology for council meetings?
Already at least one Simcoe County municipality has "threatened" to stop using video/audio streaming for its meetings using the new "excuse" that under the Accessibility legislation, all streamed meetings have to include real time closed captioning by 2025. With the recent presentation by Mayor Measures, CAO Sage and Councillor Broderick to Accessibility Minister Cho, they attempted to further impede the rights of the disabled by asking for changes to the current legislation, this would be the ideal excuse for them to again use the AODA legislation as a way to stop using technology and revert to the old secretive meeting strategy that staff and councillors love so much!
This comment from Peter Lomath, Creemore, Ontario
Just as this comment was being uploaded, Clearview released the agenda for the next council meeting and lo and behold, SOME of the concerns related to council meetings are on the agenda.
I've changed a few words of this "comment" but the questions are the same - When will we get regular, livestreamed meetings with public comment periods and full public access?
It appears to those of us on the sidelines, that the calling of all meetings is currently firmly under the control of Mayor Measures and Steve Sage even though, as best we can determine, the municipal Act does not give them the power needed to make that determination.
Mayor Measures has no more rights than any other elected councillor when it come to determining the way in which council meetings are called or run. We are currently seeing meetings being referenced as “EMERGENCY” meetings using the excuse of Covid 19, where the only emergency seems to be the giving away of tax dollars or the rushed approval of spending for 4-wheel drive vehicles and hiring of even more highly paid staff before the impacts of Covid 19 start to affect municipal cash flows.
Concerned Clearview Citizens Group - Covid 19 pages on creemore.ca