There were just a handful of folks in the audience during Thursday’s Kodiak Borough Assembly Meeting, but thanks to new technology, that doesn’t mean they were the only ones watching.
Assembly and City Council meetings have long been broadcast on KMXT, but new software in the borough assembly chambers is allowing folks to stream meetings live from anywhere with internet access.
Thursday’s meeting was the first of hopefully many to be streamed online, part of what Borough Manager Bud Cassidy called the video conferencing “soft roll-out.”
“So what is happening is the camera in the center of the room is streaming you out live – I don’t know if there’s many people besides Paul in the back room watching you now. Obviously he’s trying to dial everything in. But you will have the ability, and I noticed this on our webpage right now, to click on a video streaming button – although it looks to be a little bit of a delay – and view your meetings over the internet.”
Late in Thursday’s meeting it was discovered that the delay Cassidy mentions is actually about two minutes, which Borough Mayor Jerrol Friend said could pose problems for folks who are streaming and want to call in during community comments.
“Alright, we may look at that here in the future, maybe I’ll give a notice that that’s coming up, public comments will be coming up in two minutes.”
Cassidy said he wasn’t sure if that delay is just because it is the soft roll out and if it will go away as the system improves.
Ultimately, the goal is to have two-way video communication between the borough assembly and villages, and perhaps even set net sites during the summer months. Two large black screens are now installed in the assembly chambers – one facing assembly members and one facing the audience – that will allow for videos.
Cassidy said it’s all still very much under works, but hopefully it will just get bigger and better as time goes on.