Commissioners Jim Wheeler, Larry England, and Washington County Mayor Joe Grandy discuss the possibility of streaming future county commission meetings.

By MARINA WATERS

Staff Writer

mwaters@heraldandtribune.com

Washington County Commissioners might want to make sure to smile when they take a seat at the commission table since future meetings could be recorded and streamed on YouTube and Facebook starting in 2019.

The county’s budget committee unanimously approved a $1,200 resolution to pay The Video Guy for live streaming services of the commission meetings at $200 per month. Those dollars will come from the unassigned fund balance.

“I think anything we can do to enhance transparency from our government to our citizens is a good thing,” Mayor Joe Grandy told the Herald & Tribune. “I think it’s important from a transparency perspective. Our citizens can if they chose see what goes on in our county government and maybe come away with an understanding of it and how the process works.”

In recent years, numerous government entities have started streaming public meetings. In 2018, for example, the Washington County Board of Education began streaming and recording monthly board meetings. A view of the nine-member board and the crowd are streamed on Facebook, Youtube and at www.wcde.org and are available for viewing after the meeting is over.

Grandy added that the resolution, which will be considered by the full commission at the January meeting, will also pay for the three months in 2018 that The Video Guy streamed the commission meetings.

Grandy added that the county will also be making an effort to post meeting agendas the Wednesday before the monthly meetings rather than the Friday before.

“The goal of the group has been to get it out Friday afternoon or Monday,” Grandy said. “From my experience in it, not many people pick those up the first part of the week anyway. Our new commitment, if you all are comfortable with this, will be Wednesday before the commission meetings after the packet is posted and available.”

The commission’s next meeting will be held on Monday, Jan. 28, at 6 p.m. at the George Jaynes Justice Center, located at 108 W Jackson Blvd., Jonesborough. To view the county’s calendar of events and to view the upcoming agenda, go to www.washingtoncountytn.org.