McLean County Board To Resume Streaming Committee Meetings
McLean County government will resume video livestreaming of all committee and subcommittee meetings following a three-month hiatus.
The county board voted 18-0 on Thursday to pay for overtime in the county's IT department to run the livestreaming production for each of the meetings.
The board started to livestream of its committee meetings at the start of the pandemic, but stopped the practice at the end of May as COVID-19 restrictions eased and the board resumed in-person meetings.
The county board’s full regular monthly meetings have been livestreamed for years.
Several county board members, including Josh Barnett, R-Bloomington, recommended the county keep the livestream option available for people who cannot attend in person.
“It’s 2021, so providing streaming online should be a part of everyday business,” said Barnett, adding advocacy from the public likely helped convince some board members who may have been skeptical at first. “I think a lot of people realized, ‘I miss that, I want that back,’ so from that standpoint it really helped,” he said.
McLean County interim administrator Cassy Taylor said the county allowed the livestreamed committee meetings to phase out because the work was too time consuming for current IT staff to cover.
“We felt that extending that with existing staff was pushing off projects that had already been planned and part of our IT development plan, so we thought this was the best option,” she said.
The county board has seven committees and two subcommittees that meet monthly.
McLean County director of information technologies Craig Nelson indicated in a memo to the County Board that IT staff averaged close to 35 additional hours per month in March, April and May to handle the livestream production of committee meetings.
Nelson also presented data that indicated the three monthly County Board meetings from March to May averaged 756 viewers. The county averaged an additional 157 viewers per month with the committee meetings included.
The county streams meetings on its YouTube page.
The county plans to resume committee meeting livestreams in September.
Taylor plans to include a new full-time position in the 2022 budget proposal at a cost of $55,000, according to a memo Taylor presented to board members.
The new staff person also will help the county with its website and social media management, according to Taylor.