You will now be able to keep up with all the political happenings in Lambton County from the comfort of your own home.
Starting July 2, Lambton County Council will be available live on the Internet.
Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley first raised the idea of live streaming council meetings in 2013 with the idea of making county politics more accessible to everyone.
About $46,000 was set aside to install a camera system, new microphones and to renovate the council chambers to accommodate the change.
The system has been in place for several months and according to David Cribbs, Lambton County’s Clerk and Solicitor. Five staff members have been trained to run the system which pans to each speaker during the debate.
Cribbs says residents can watch the whole council meeting as it happens on July 2 at 1:15pm or log on later to view just the item they are interested in.
“We made a conscious decision not to do it in HD or high speed to make it easer for our residents …for those without high speed, it is still accessible,” says Cribbs. “The information is searchable on the Internet and the finished project will have links on it … so you can click on an agenda item and you can go straight to that.
“We’re trying to make it more user friendly than what some municipalities are using.”
Warden Todd Case is excited about the project. “Not only does this initiative provide greater access to the deliberations of council, but it also serves as a tool to help educate the public about the roles, responsibilities, and decision-making process the county has in place,” he said in a news release.
Cribbs says it remains to be seen how many people take advantage of the improved access to council.
“Other municipalities live stream and have between 100 and 200 hits a year,” says Cribbs “but those probably aren’t municipalities dealing with industrial wind turbines or closure of daycares.”