Worthington City Council's efforts to make meetings more accessible through live streaming appears to be going smoothly, despite low viewership.
In March, Worthington council approved funding for a plan to stream and archive meetings through Swagit LLC. Cameras, a Texas-based technology company, and other equipment was installed this summer.
The first live-streamed meeting was Sept. 4.
According to statistics from Swagit, as of Oct. 15, there were 145 live views from Sept. 4 through Oct. 8. On-demand views, or the number of views after the videos have been archived, were 185.
City spokesperson Anne Brown said that despite the relatively modest numbers, the city has no plans to halt the program.
"I don't think we went into it with a set number in mind," Brown said.
Brown said that there have been few issues with the system. She said they did have practice sessions with council members before the official start, with reminders to not lean back in their chairs to hinder the microphones and testing of equipment.
"Part of it is a learning curve for our council members to speak into the microphone," Brown said.
Council President Bonnie Michael said that the process has allowed council to fulfil their goal of becoming more transparent to residents.
"How much more transparent or convenient can you be," she said.
Michael said being filmed isn't distracting.
"I'm so busy focusing on the meeting that I don't think about being filmed," she said.
On March 19, council approved $92,000 of funding for services for the first year, most of which Brown said came out of the Community Technology Fund and not the city's general fund. Brown said that maintaining the service is expected to cost $30,000 a year.