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Take one: recording of RDCK meetings set to come online in April

Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
By Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
April 2nd, 2024

For those who can handle the truth, there is an online recorded version of the monthly regional district board meetings coming.

For the first time in the history of the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK), the board of directors monthly meetings will be recorded — using the WebEx tool — beginning in April and made available to the public, for a limited time.

The recording of the board meetings will be the first of its kind since the RDCK was created in 1965 by the Province.

The RDCK board voted on March 19 — in an unrecorded meeting — to approve the move, applying that template to all regional district board meetings and special board meetings. However, it will not apply to meetings held by RDCK committees, commissions, departments or to specific staff.

“While meeting minutes serve as the official record, recordings are primarily offered to enhance access to board meeting content,” said Shiree Worden, Records and Information Management coordinator for the RDCK. “Retaining transitory information beyond necessity risks undermining the official record.”

As a result, after examining retention practices among other regional districts and municipalities — with findings ranging from one month to seven years — it was determined that there would be a 12-month retention period for the videos.

The board had fielded numerous requests from the public for more transparent and open governance, and it was finally brought up on the board agenda through Area E director Cheryl Graham’s motion in January.

It is common practice throughout many regional districts and municipalities — the City of Nelson provides live coverage and archives of meetings — to provide additional methods for accessing open public meetings, said Graham.

“I made this motion because it is one of my priorities to improve transparency of the RDCK,” she said. “Residents should have access to RDCK board meetings without having to attend in person or online at the time of the meeting.”

The current remote meeting technology platform the RDCK employs has the ability to record meetings and meets the basic requirements to implement the Recording Meetings policy. Additional features such as livestreaming or time stamping videos were not discussed.

It is possible that future upgrades to existing audio-visual equipment and software will result in improved viewer experience, said Worden.

Recordings can reach sizes up to 2.4 gigabyte per hour, resulting in significant storage requirements.

“While storage costs are reasonable, managing exponentially growing data may pose challenges,” said Worden.

The associated costs will depend on the chosen storage method, however an estimate of $1,000 per year for storage is expected.

Categories: General

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