Councilman Frank Carroll III is requesting that the city follow the lead of other area governments by soliciting bids for a camera system to record meetings in council chambers.
(TNS) — Ward A Katy Councilman Frank O. Carroll III is requesting that an item be added to the June 17 City Council agenda that would authorize the solicitation of bids for a camera system to be installed in the City Council Chambers.
Carroll said Wednesday that the idea has been floating around for a while and he had heard about it many, many months ago. He pointed out that trustees in the Katy Independent School District have cameras at their meetings as do City Councils in Fulshear and Houston.
“A lot of folks have recordings in their chamber that allow people who can’t make the meeting — even if they really want to — to be able to virtually attend the meeting,” said Carroll. “It’s worked to great effect in surrounding jurisdictions.
“With the city’s new website we’re coming out with, I thought it would be a perfect addition to that new website,” said Carroll. In his request for the agenda addition, Carroll wrote, “The system must be capable of interfacing with the new city website and allow for the viewing and archiving of meetings.”
Carroll was elected in May to a two-term after his appointment in September 2018 to fill a vacancy on City Council. Now that he’s elected in his own right, Carroll said he wanted to work on his legislative priorities. He said he wants council to consider the camera system because he sees it as a need.
That need was reinforced after Carroll said he was asked by a Cane Island resident last month about a camera system.
In his request to council, Carroll wrote, in part, “Transparency is essential to a government of the people, for the people and by the people. Technology has allowed for great strides in transparency — if the government has the fortitude to use it.”
Commissioner Courts in Fort Bend, Waller and Harris counties also use camera systems during their meetings that people can view the sessions live. Videos of the meetings also are available for later viewing.
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