For the past four months, Bridgeville Borough Council has been sharing gavel-to-gavel videos of its month meetings through the borough’s new YouTube channel.
Most residents haven’t noticed thusfar, judging by the early viewership statistics, but the borough’s video efforts represent a swift leap into the 21st century for a government that not too long ago was using audio cassette tapes to record council meetings.
For the past five years, almost every borough council meeting has been available to watch on this site—Bridgeville.org. But those were filmed by us, not by the borough. And over the years, some borough representatives signaled that they were not thrilled to have cameras and microphones documenting their meetings.
Now, by providing its own meeting video, Bridgeville makes it easier for all residents to keep tabs on local government, even when day-to-day life prevents people from attending meetings in person.
The borough’s new system still has a few kinks to work out—the audio can be shaky, and it might get shakier this summer when the council chambers’ air conditioner kicks on—but the 4K ceiling-mounted camera provides a unique, single-shot, bird’s eye view of the meetings. It’s like Congressional C-SPAN on a Bridgeville budget. We’ll call it B-SPAN.
Quibbles aside, the video is a notable and laudable step in the right direction. We hope that Bridgeville will also begin publishing meeting documents linked to the relevant moments on video.
We would also love to see Bridgeville’s other government entities—including the Parking Authority and Planning Commission—take advantage of the camera system in the borough meeting room.
In the meantime, this website—Bridgeville.org—is waking from its winter hibernation and will soon be back to covering local news that would otherwise go undocumented.