Council Facebook stream nets 1,400 views | Local News

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TUSCUMBIA — It appears there was interest in the City Council’s inaugural live meeting broadcast.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the council’s Monday evening meeting that was streamed live on Facebook had netted more than 1,400 views.

Mayor Kerry Underwood said he heard a lot of feedback from the community about the live stream.

“It’s been talked about a lot in Tuscumbia, and if I were to guess, I’d say it’s being talked about a lot outside of Tuscumbia, too,” Underwood said.

He said he would not be surprised if more cities used Facebook Live for their meetings. Facebook provides the service at no cost.

When the idea of streaming live was proposed earlier this year, the council expressed unanimous enthusiasm about it.

“If you really want to connect with citizens, this is a good way to do it,” Underwood said. “I appreciate the council being willing to do this. They’re forward thinking.”

The inaugural live streaming came with some glitches. Comments during the first few minutes of the 42-minute 41-second stream could not be heard because of audio issues, but those were corrected.

“We had those technical issues, but we’ll have that cleared up next time,” Underwood said.

The stream is available on Tuscumbia’s official Facebook page, City of Tuscumbia, Alabama — Government.

In addition to the live feed, the meeting recording remains up for people to view at any time. When you click on it, the stream starts and the council agenda pops up alongside it.

Underwood said he was pleased to see more than 70 comments, because council members want to read feedback after the meetings.

“This is an easy way for people to tap into what Tuscumbia’s doing,” he said. “We heard legitimate concerns during the meeting about issues such as traffic control and flooding issues. There could easily be someone in a district across town from those areas who would have had no idea that this was an issue in their city, and this lets them know.

“In Tuscumbia, transparency is a verb. It’s not something we’re just going to state, it’s something we’re going to do,” the mayor said.

Plans call to also stream the meetings live on YouTube, and they will be taped for broadcast on Comcast at a time to be determined.

At the same time, Underwood said he hopes this does not deter people from attending meetings.

“We like that direct interaction, and there’s something to be said about an individual who is concerned enough about something to come to a meeting and tell us,” he said.

bernie.delinski@timesdaily.com or 256-740-5739. Twitter @TD_BDelinski

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