HAMILTON – It’s never been easier to keep an eye on what’s happening with the Ravalli County commissioners.
The commission’s new video-streaming service is now officially online.
Commission administrative assistant Glenda Wiles said the new system will allow people to watch meetings either as they happen or from a stored archive.
People wanting to watch certain segments of meetings that have already occurred will be able to select an agenda item to view only that portion of the meeting that interests them, Wiles said.
To access the new video-streaming service, people need to first visit the county’s relatively new website at ravalli.us.
Once on the county’s homepage, scroll to the bottom and look under "Quick Links" for “Commission meetings – Live Streaming.”
From there, choose between "Upcoming Events," where live streaming of meetings can be found, or "Archived Videos," which includes meetings that have already occurred.
In a week or two following the meeting, Wiles said, the minutes also will be attached to the archived videos.
“The minutes will be minimal,” she said. “They will include the motion and the vote. There won’t be much more.”
The new system does not allow for the public to participate during the meetings.
An earlier program offered that option, but Wiles said it didn’t work well.
“There were always issues that were occurring with that program,” she said. “There were only a couple of people who participated. Most would just come later and get the minutes.”
The new website and live-streaming service should be more user-friendly, Wiles said.
“People can watch only the part they want to see,” she said. “They won’t have to watch the entire meeting if they don’t want to do that.”
Wiles said it will also take some pressure off whoever takes minutes at the meetings.
“No matter how well you take minutes, your understanding of what was said might be little different than someone else’s,” she said. “I’ve had people come up to me and ask why I didn’t write down exactly what they said.
“I’d tell them you don’t have a court transcriptionist. You have me,” Wiles said. “Now they can get online and hear exactly what went on.”