Riverside Elementary School District 96 Board of Education meetings will soon be televised on a tape-delayed basis.
At its June 18 meeting, the District 96 school board voted unanimously to accept a proposal from the Riverside Cable Commission to tape the meetings for broadcast later on cable television.
“We just want to engage the community as much as possible and as easily as possible,” said Mary Rose Mangia, the president of the District 96 school board. “That makes it easier for them to be informed.”
According to the Cable Commission’s proposal, it will cost the district $5,040 a year to record and televise the 12 monthly regular board meetings, which will continue to be held at L.J. Hauser Junior High School.
The meetings will be broadcast on the Comcast Channel 6 about two weeks after the meeting takes place. Viewers will also be able to watch the meetings by clicking a link on the Riverside Cable Commission website,which is slated to go live this summer. A DVD of the meeting will be made available to District 96 or the Riverside Public Library.
The school board could have chosen to have their meetings televised live if they had been willing to move their meetings to the Riverside Township Hall. It would have cost the district about $950 less to have the meetings broadcast live from the township hall.
The cable commission’s proposal also stated that the video and audio quality would be better at the township hall, since the filming crew would have been able to use high definition studio cameras and external microphones. When taping on location, the broadcast will be done with one camera using an on-camera shotgun microphone.
“When shooting the meetings on location, we cannot guarantee that the sound quality or volume level of each person will be equal,” the proposal states.
But school board members decided they did not want to move off school district property; some members said that Hauser provided a larger and more comfortable meeting room for spectators.
“I like this setting,” Mangia said. “It’s just a little warmer, a little more comfortable.”
Board members did not seem too concerned with the two-week delay between the meeting and the broadcast.
“If someone is interested in watching they’re going to go watch it, delay or not,” said school board member Lisa Gaynor.
The school board has not decided yet whether to televise its committee meetings, which would cost extra.