Videotaping of study sessions may be discontinued

Hugh Johnson

City council discussed the possibility of doing away with videotaping study sessions, Monday, March 17.

District Two Councilmember Kristi Davis proposed that council review the need for videotaping study sessions, on the basis of lowering costs the city. District One Councilman, Jerry DiTuillio, stated that the cost of videotaping is around $8,000 a year. The weekly fee is $425.

The alternative to videotaping study sessions would be an audio recording of each session. The regular meetings would continue to be videotaped.

Former councilwoman Nancy Snow spoke about the need for council to remain transparent. Snow emphasized the importance of study sessions, saying that most of the issues that come up in regular council meeting — which often are discussed in prior study session — have already been decided upon.

“By the time something gets to the city council meeting, frankly you can tell even if you were brand neophyte, you can tell that everything’s been decided,” she said.

Council members DiTullio and Zachary Urban of district 2 agreed with the need to remain transparent. DiTullio believes the $8,000 is well worth the opportunity to inform citizens in multiple ways.

Urban noted the irony of the discussion in the midst of Colorado Sunshine Week, which is an annual celebration of the public’s right to know what take’s place in government at the local, state and federal levels.

District Three Councilmember George Pond said the money would be better suited elsewhere, stating that the videotapes aren’t providing any more insight into council’s deliberations.

“It’s no greater transparency really it’s just a video versus an audio, it’s still published, it’s still available, it’s still an open meeting,” Pond said.

Councilmembers decided to continue videotaping the study session but said they would address the issue again during the budget cycle.