Thursday, December 03, 2015

Everybody should be able to watch Lake County Committee meetings

Lake County Board Member Sandy Hart brought forward a request to start video recording our Finance Committee so the public could watch and hear our deliberations. The reason she chose the Finance Committee is most all agenda items deliberated by the Lake County Board comes through the Finance Committee. Starting at Finance would also be a pilot of sorts by demonstration of the more informative discussion at committees.

Our Finance Chairman Brent Paxton, Member Steve Carlson and Member Diane Hewitt spoke against video taping any committee meetings. Members Strongly supporting Member Sandy Hart's efforts to video tape the Finance meetings were myself and Member Nick Sauer of Lake Barrington. While our Chairman Aaron Lawlor and Member Mike Rummel had supportive words, they both had qualified support to move forward.

Bottom line is all the action at Lake County happens at the Committee level. Unless you can personally attend a committee meeting there is no way to experience the verbatim conversation on the many issues we vote on monthly at the Lake County Board. There are not even public accessible audio recordings of the committee meetings.

Listening to Members Carlson and Hewitt's vehement condemnation of an public open accessible video recording or live presentation of these meetings really left me without words. I am not understanding what the secret is and why they would not want to integrate our public in these deliberations. What is there to hide? Is there a different Member Carlson and Hewitt representing their constituents away from the cameras then in front of them? I would hope not.

Citizens have a right to be able to watch us speak and represent them at these committee meetings. They have a right to better understand the work we do on their behalf. Interaction is essential to our representations and video recordings of these meetings will allow the public and press to experience verbatim explanations of agenda items, questions, concerns, and hear new ideas. Since the press hardly comes to any of our meetings, it will give them a better chance to write about our agenda items, better understanding of facts and motivations.

Come on! Its almost 2016 and still members of this Lake County Board want to keep government in the 1950's. Please, lets open our doors, let the sunshine in and promote video taping at the committee meetings. PLEASE