Letter: Telecommunications Problems

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Letter to the Editor

Today is Nov. 15 and as of this writing, the Nov. 12, City Council meeting video is still not posted to the City’s website for online viewing. What is ironic about the performance of the City’s Granicus-based video-on-demand service is that the City of Calabasas also uses Granicus and does not experience this problem of non-availability for their city’s meetings on video.

The issue of Transparency in Government has been an ongoing topic of public discourse originating from Granicus’ co-founder and CEO, Tom Spengler, who hosted two Webinars on this subject, The Fundamentals of Online Open Government. I’m sure there would be no problem calling Spengler and discussing if there is a technical limitation preventing the public from observing the actions of their elected representatives in Malibu.

We’re paying the taxes that provide for Granicus’ service here. This ongoing performance of a government function for the citizens of Malibu is unacceptable. Since the operability of Granicus’ system for the City is in direct conflict with Granicus’ public mission, I find it peculiar why this occurs in Malibu and not Calabasas. 

Exactly what has been done to improve this ongoing and recurring problem that has gotten worse over the last six months? All of the Planning Commission’s meetings occurring in Sept. and Oct. are still unavailable for viewing from the City of Malibu’s website as well.

The status quo is unacceptable by any standard, and highly questionable in a governmental setting. Electronically blocking government access by delays is access denied. Telecommunication is part of the job responsibility.

R.L. Embree, Former Chair, City of Malibu, Telecommunications Commission