MWSD: Board Meeting, 10/18/2007

It’s a great start.

The Montara Water and Sanitary District (MWSD) is experimenting with videotaping their board meetings. In most districts in the country this wouldn’t be very exciting news, but on the coast here, as you might have noticed, these normally obscure governmental bodies are lightning rods for intense public debate.

Most of the government meetings on the coast aren’t filmed at all and are attended by at best a few members of the public. Not good. A few others are filmed by the local community access channel, MCTV, but they themselves are a bit obscure, broadcasting the meetings in their lengthy entirety, often during television’s “prime time.” No web access, either. They might as well project them in my garage for all the public dissemination they seem to achieve.

On the coast we have one of the most politically polarized communities in the country. Governments that operate out of site of the public, even inadvertently, tend to become unresponsive to that public. This is unhealhy. Our community is ill.

One of the cures, or so I hope, is information. By making government meetings more accessible and more understandable to the average coastal resident we help our local democracy function a bit better.

It’s a great start and we’ll be polishing and adjusting things with the MWSD video in the weeks and months ahead.

I would like to encourage others to take up the challenge. There’s a lot of government meetings out there that we care about that are going on in near-invisibility. I can help you choose equipment and solve technical issues. I will publish the videos and make them available 24/7. Members of the public: With a cheap tripod and nearly any video camera you can perform an important public service Adopt a meeting, make it your cause. To government officials: It takes very little in the way of resources to reach a broader public. It’s not only a good idea, it’s a core obligation.

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AGENDA

Old Business
1. Review and Possible Action Concerning Approval of Interim Financing for Water System Improvements.

Received status. Paperwork arrived too late to approve. Will take up again at next meeting.

2. Review and Possible Action Concerning Purchase of Sound System Improvements for Video Coverage of Board Meetings.

OK’d purchase of microphones and mixer. Saw equipment used to record and produce this video.

3. Review and Possible Action Concerning Recommended Changes to County Private Well Testing to Avoid Property Development with Failed Wells.

Approved language of a letter to the County.

4. Review and Possible Action Concerning Adoption of Personnel Rules.

Reviewed language of the personnel manual. Requested changes.

New Business
1. Review and Possible Action Concerning Ballot for National Water Resources Association California Caucus Positions.

Decided on three to vote for.

Reports
1. Sewer Authority Mid-Coastside Meetings (Harvey)

Discussed wet weather storage program and other key items from the recent SAM meeting.

Thanks to Scott Boyd and the entire MWSD board for producing this video and making their meetings visible to a wider public. This video is not copyrighted and may be downloaded and used without restriction.

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