After being told for years that televising council meetings was cost prohibitive, Linda Gunnett was sick and tired of the City Hall excuses. So, she hired a videographer for $100 from a Craig’s List ad to stream a recent La Quinta City Council meeting on YouTube.
Gunnett told me she wanted to make a point.
“This is perfectly serviceable for somebody who can’t make it to the meeting,” Gunnett said. “It doesn’t have to be Oscar worthy. The meetings are boring anyway.”
Council didn’t exactly see it that way. And here’s the line that had me rolling on the floor from Councilwoman Kristy Franklin, “If we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it right. There’s no point in doing anything if you’re going to do it half fanny.”
Half fanny? She kills!
But that was last week.
You tell me if you think City Hall got Gunnett’s point. The council tonight is expected to consider a 1 percent franchise fee for cable users to retrofit City Hall for televising future meetings.
Here’s the kicker: that 1 percent amounts to about a buck on a $100 cable bill. Most people are never going to miss it. And now, the city with a 4 o’clock meeting suddenly can become more accessible to the residents who work 9-to-5.
Journalism is all about choices. What to leave in, what to take out. My reporting on the 1 percent tax, unfortunately, was cut in the story that ran last week. But my questions obviously spurred city staff to do their own investigating.
Of course, this turn of events begs the question, “Why hasn’t the city moved on this before?” But that’s a question I think I’ll save for another story.
To watch the Nov. 6th La Quinta City Council on YouTube, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaV4KAn8aeE