The Los Angeles City Council stopped live video feeds of meetings in Van Nuys and San Pedro, the Los Angeles Times reported June 29. Despite objections by local activists, the city closed the feeds, saving about $46,000 a year.
The line-item cut is among many others in the city’s attempt to balance its budget. Analysis of video feed costs showed that contractors charged $19 an hour to operate video conferencing equipment, or about $21,000 per year. An additional $24,832 was spent to post a public safety officer part time in San Pedro, while Van Nuys already had officers and did not incur additional expense.
Councilman Richard Alarcon voted to continue live meeting video feeds but was outvoted by those who said that too few residents took advantage of the service. "It's just unfortunate that more people didn't come to Van Nuys City Hall when they could," said Alarcon, as reported by the L.A. Times. "If you come in with a strategic and specific agenda, public comments can be very effective."