Boards eye video streaming meetings to increase transparency

Boards eye video streaming meetings to increase transparency
A camera man records and transmits a Community Board 12 board meeting on Thursday, October 25 in real time to community members who could not attend.
Photo courtesy of Community Board 12

Two east Bronx community boards are experimenting with video taping its meetings in an attempt to reach more people in their service areas.

Community Board 12 is ramping up it’s effort to professionally video record and broadcast or stream its meetings on the Internet, said George Torres, district manager.

Meanwhile, neighboring Community Board 11, which was the first one in the borough to video tape a general meeting, is restarting its project with funding from a one-time $42,000 City Council grant given to community boards, said Jeremy Warneke, CB 11 district manager.

Torres said that CB 12 has been video recording general board meetings for at least two years, and that this is an effort to increase transparency.

“My rationale behind it was not enough people participate in full board meetings,” he said, adding he looked at various ways the technology is used to record similar meetings in other venues.

Torres said he would eventually like to video record committee meetings as well, adding committee meetings can make advisory decisions on projects on large-scale projects.

With about 46 board members and roughly 50 people attending full board meetings at CB 12, the effort would have two objectives: the board’s actions would reach a larger audience, while also keeping board members that didn’t attend a meeting in the loop.

CB 12’s meetings are now available on both BronxNet TV on Channel 67 and streaming on Facebook Live, and the board is looking to create a account, he said. Currently they are using a company called New Face Media.

His hope is for people in the board service area or board members to see something on video they are interested in and then bring it up with board staff, said Torres.

CB 11’s video experimentation was jump-started by another City Council grant a couple of years ago, when the council’s Committee on Technology toyed with the idea, said Warneke.

CB 11 was chosen as the test board, and WNET recorded meetings throughout the first half of 2017, as well as earlier test meeting, said Warneke. Boards in other boroughs currently video record their meetings, he added.

Now Warneke said that after receiving the support of the vast majority of board members, he plans on bringing back video recording to their general meetings.

“For good or for worse, we do a lot of things remotely today,” said Warneke, adding “Not everyone can come to these meetings and it is a good thing for as many as possible to see what is happening.”

Warneke said that after taking a poll at a full board meeting, the vast majority of board members concurred that the project was worthwhile, though some members expressed concern about cost, which Warneke believes would be approximately $7,200 a year.

CB 11 board chairman Al D’Angelo said that he thought it might be helpful.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at

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