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Commissioners continue talks on videos of meetings
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Video recording of Effingham County commissioners’ meetings may be coming soon — a live stream doesn’t appear likely.

Commissioners have explored what it would take to broadcast their meetings, allowing more people to see what takes place. But the cost of a live stream appears to be more than commissioners were hoping to pay.

The county will need to install additional lighting, and the cost of a static camera is about $400, according to County Administrator David Crawley.

“This room is not very well lit,” he said.

To enhance the lighting, and allow viewers to see the commissioners, county staff is looking at installing track lighting.

Without a live stream, the county won’t be on the hook for $87 a month in recurring costs. Going to a live stream also would mean increasing the county’s network capacity, which also would be an expense.

“It doesn’t seem like much of this necessary, without going crazy with it,” said Commissioner Steve Mason. “It seems like it could be simpler.”

There also will have to be additional microphones to pick up what commissioners are saying and so viewers can determine which commissioner is talking.

“There is a concern over being able to pick up everything that’s said,” Crawley said.

Commission Chairman Wendell Kessler said the issue of online broadcasting came up at a training session in Tifton and other commissioners said it was a “nightmare.” Commissioners from across the state where shown video clips of what can happen.

“It creates a lot of problems,” he said. “I’m not trying to be ugly toward anyone, but it necessitates everybody having to speak clearly and one at a time.”

Crawley said the camera will have to shoot a little wider in order for viewers to see who is talking, and without live streaming, they could edit the video to adjust the sound and lighting before putting it on the Web site or burning it to a DVD.

“Let’s get the camera, test it out, see how it works,” he said.