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Aug 30

From Opaque To Translucent

Comments (0) 12:00 AM posted by admin |

The idea of videotaping and broadcasting Ypsilanti City Council meetings was tried once, but it failed.A gentleman by the name of Steve Cherry tried it a few years back, but couldn’t successfully pull it off because the meeting are so damn long. This created giant files that sucked down bandwidth. A reasonable person couldn’t host the files because of those limitations. So for three years, the idea of community-based transparency in government was on the back burner.Well, now it’s time to move it to the front burner. Or the front part of the stove. Or whatever. You get the idea.

Thanks to the benevolent overlords are Google, we have the technology. We can rebuild it.

Because Google is so massive and their desire to take over the world is so great, they provide unbelievable resources to the common man for free. One of those resources is Google Video. Those guys will host anything, no matter what size it is, for free. Thanks Larry and Sergey.

Now before anyone gets too excited, Google Video isn’t new. This whole transparency movement could have been started sooner than a couple of Tuesdays ago, but in order to pull this off, you need someone with a video camera and someone willing to film a couple hours of City Council meetings. That’s where you guys come in. I think this is a fantastic idea. It’s not community access cable, but it’s close and it’s free. Sure, there are some bugs to work out. The audio isn’t the greatest nor is the video quality, but for free, you have to admit that it’s a pretty decent start. In order to pull this off in a successful way, we need people just like you to volunteer your time to help us out. Take one for the team volunteer.

This initiative is being headed up by local resident Steve Pierce and he writes about it here.

The most notable thing about this episode of Ypsilanti City Council is the discussion about the income tax that begins around the 1:00:50 mark. Some interesting double talk there.

By the way, in case you didn’t notice it, you can watch the video above by clicking the “play” button or watch it in fullscreen (or close to it) by click on the “Google Video” button.

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