People who are interested in the decisions of the Board of Supervisors, but cannot make the meetings in Florence, now have a way to stay informed. Beginning on today, April 30, the meetings will be broadcast live on the internet.
All you have to do is go to http://www.pinalcountyaz.gov to log into live and archived meetings.
“It is all about transparency,” said Chairman Anthony Smith. “Many of my constituents from District 4 were unable to make the meetings in person, so I asked our Communications Department to see what options were available to meet our resident’s needs.””
The Communications Department working closely with the Information Technology and Purchasing Departments went through a long process of studying vendors, researching the plusses and minuses of each system along with determining what technological capacity the county could afford. In the end, Pinal County chose Swagit (http://www.swagit.com) for their broadcast partner.
“This was a system that is tailored perfectly for our situation,” Chairman Smith said. “We have a very large county and not every area has cable television. So the question became: ‘How do we reach these people?’ Swagit had an all-in-one system that broadcasts the meetings live and archives them. It really worked out well for our Communications and Information Technology teams.”
The county had two options when it came to broadcast systems. One would have seen the county purchase much of the equipment needed to broadcast the meetings: cameras, switcher and assorted internet equipment. The other option was having Swagit install all needed equipment to broadcast the meetings over the internet. Swagit owns the equipment and switches the cameras, during the meeting, from their headquarters in Texas.
“The other systems being looked at would require us to hire another employee or two to get the system up and running,” The District 4 Supervisor said. “Swagit installed the equipment and owns the equipment, so if there is a problem on their end – they fix it.”
If a person would like to research past decisions, the Clerk of the Board’s office will have archived video of six month’s worth of meetings on their website. The link will also include videos of Supervisor interviews and other Channel Pinal shows.
“The best part of this system is the feature where a viewer can click on a corresponding item in our agenda and see just that discussion and vote. There will be no need to watch the entire board meeting to get to just one item,” Chairman Smith explained. “While it may seem like a big win for the county, it’s actually a big win for our constituents and transparency.”