Minus BKAT, PO Has Glitch in Video Meeting Coverage

Tuesday’s meeting of the Port Orchard City Council is the first since the council voted in December to do away with its BKAT broadcasts and to post videos of the meetings on the city’s Web site instead. Unfortunately, there was a glitch, and no audio of the meeting came through.

Mayor Lary Coppola has accepted responsibility and explains in a letter below where things went awry. Instead of a video, draft minutes of the meeting have been posted on the Web site. Here is a copy your viewing pleasure.

Port Orchard City Council Meeting, Jan. 12, 2010, draft minutes: POCC_011210

The city had a contract with BKAT since 2006, but decided to ditch cable in part to save money, in part to try and reach a wider audience and offer a more convenient form of access. Coppola and council members who favored the switch said most people now have Internet service adequate to view meetings on the city’s Web site. Viewing online would allow people to skip through the the parts of the meeting in which they were most interested and to view meetings at whatever time they choose. The possibility of having both forms of broadcast is not off the table, and the council may resurrect discussion of BKAT and how to fund it. Port Orchard has been paying a reduced rate and BKAT was hoping to bring the city’s fees in line for comparable service.

Here’s the mayor’s letter sent to the Port Orchard Independent and forwarded to me by Councilman Fred Chang.

“From: Lary Coppola
Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 4:18 PM
To: Charlie Bermant
Cc: Patricia J. Kirkpatrick
Subject: RE: BKAT

First, I want to apologize to the citizens of our City for the problem, and accept full responsibility for it. A draft copy of the meeting minutes will be posted on the City’s Web site, along with the video.

BKAT had a responsibility to provide training for our staff as part of its contract, and we had done a run through on December 22, prior to BKAT removing its equipment to make sure there were no glitches and everything worked correctly. It was after that, when BKAT removed its equipment, and hooked up ours as was agreed. apparently an audio cable was left unplugged. It wasn’t immediately obvious that this had occurred, and since the run through went perfectly, we assumed everything was ready to go – just as BKAT assured us it was.

We don’t believe this was an intentional act, and if you’ve seen the amount of wiring involved in the broadcast setup, you can see how easily something like this could happen. Rest assured that everyone involved in this project knows for a fact it won’t happen again.

Lary Coppola, Mayor
City of Port Orchard
216 Prospect Street
Port Orchard, WA 98366
(360) 876-7025 – Direct Line

One thought on “Minus BKAT, PO Has Glitch in Video Meeting Coverage

  1. Considering that only 10% of active Internet use are seniors (65+)… cutting their access to city meetings seems irresponsible and shows a disregard for senior involvement in their town…in my opinion. That seniors as a group are increasing in computer use faster than any other group is great…but for now, they’ve been dropped from the loop. I hope SK/PS will reconsider. Seniors deserve the same right to see the meetings…please reconsider.

    That said, I also called the PO/SK Senior Center a few weeks ago and was told the new mayor is doing what he can to help them now and plans more assistance in the future. The gent I spoke with was supportive and satisfied with the mayors involvement with the senior center.

    That is fine and good, nonetheless…unless seniors are computer users, they’ve been dropped from city meeting access. I hope Port Orchard reconsiders and returns to tv for another couple years until more seniors are on-line.

    Dec 11, 2009 … Americans 65+ comprise less than 10% of the active Internet, but their numbers are growing: In the last five years, the number of seniors …
    http://www.marketingprofs.com/…/seniors-flock-online-love-facebook – Cached
    # [PDF]
    Internet Resources for Seniors…”

    Sharon O’Hara

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