Shaun Greene

Watch Mission council meetings via webcam

The District of Mission has installed a webcam to live-stream meetings

Mission residents who can’t attend council meetings can now watch the proceedings from home whenever it’s convenient.

Council broadcast via webcam for the first time its meeting last Monday.

“It’s new technology for us and we’re trying to work out the bugs,” explained Paul Gipps, the district’s deputy chief administrative officer who organized the project.

Gipps says the district will try to improve on the sound and picture quality before the next meeting is streamed.

The feed is live and its quality will depend partly on your bandwidth and how fast your computer can download the information. Viewers need Flash to watch the live broadcast, but the archived meetings are available on multiple platforms, said Shaun Green, the district’s IT project coordinator.

The camera is mounted above the doors at the back of council chambers. There is only one now, and the system can be upgraded to include more cameras to offer different views, but that would require more funds, he added.

Currently, the district has only budgeted about $15,000, or 30 meetings a year, for the project. All committee of the whole and extraordinary meetings, such as the budget presentation, will be covered.

District staff began exploring webcasting about 10 months ago when politicians said they wanted to open up meetings and connect with the public. Staff researched television broadcasts too, but with the Internet, you don’t have to sit down at a given time or be watching a specific channel, said Gipps.

Archived meeting recordings are broken down per item, allowing viewers to target their viewing to a specific discussion.

Staff will monitor the progress of the webcasts and provide a report to council by year’s end.

To view meetings, visit mission.ca and follow the links.