Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony J. Santino stood in the Supervisor’s Conference Room on the fourth floor of Town Hall while displaying a streaming live video of a town staff meeting that was occurring simultaneously in a separate town building. The demonstration marked the unveiling of the township’s new live streaming video system that will be used to broadcast meetings of the Hempstead Town Board on the municipality’s website, www.toh.li. Joining the Supervisor at the announcement was Councilman Anthony D’Esposito.
“Hempstead Town is making government more accessible and transparent,” said Santino. “Broadcasting live streaming videos of Town Board meetings over the Internet will help people to stay updated on the town’s legislative proceedings.”
Commencing with the May 10th Town Board meeting, the town will transmit live streaming video of the public hearings on its website. The videos will be able to be viewed on computers, tablets and mobile devices (enabled with an Internet connection). Visitors to the website will see an “alert message” on the home page for the next two Town Board meetings (May 10th and
May 24th, 10:30 a.m.) upon which users can click to access the streaming video of the Town Board sessions. Subsequently, a prominently displayed “slider message” on the town’s home page will direct website visitors to the streaming video.
“Providing live streaming video of Hempstead Town Board meetings is a great way to bring government directly to the people,” commented D’Esposito. “We are glad to be offering genuine transparency and ease-of-access to neighbors.”
The town has contracted with vendor Livestream to host and facilitate transmission of the board meeting videos. The annual cost to the town for the hosting service is $2,400. Livestream specializes in streaming video services, and the company’s client base includes many government jurisdictions.
The streaming video initiative is the latest effort to enhance the town’s transparency. In fact, Santino launched web access to his government’s legal notices, bid documents and the minutes of Town Board meetings on March 7th of this year. The legal notices, meeting agendas and minutes and Town Board resolutions can be seen by visiting bit.ly/tohdocs. Requests for Proposals and notices to bidders can be found at toh.li/rfps-bids.
“Hempstead Town is providing a high level of government transparency and public access to residents,” concluded Santino. “I am proud that neighbors will now be able to view Town Board meetings online as the latest installment of the town’s open-government agenda.”