A committee to re-evaluate the viability of broadcasting county meetings to the public has been reconstituted.

At Tuesday night’s regular meeting, the Livingston County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to restart the County Broadcasting Committee. The committee was originally formed in the summer of 2017, and during a proof of concept run, an agreement was made to broadcast Board meetings through the end of 2018. The committee voted 2-1 against continuing services into this year during a November meeting, which led to many residents participating in a so-called “people’s filibuster” last month out of protest.

Commissioner Gary Childs, who was the lone vote in favor of continuing to broadcast, will once again chair the committee. Childs said he believes it’s a good idea to do more research and find how they can better serve residents and keep them informed. He said he’s been asked by constituents why the broadcasts have stopped, would they be coming back, and would they be better presented. Childs stated that they will look into every aspect to do it properly.

Childs will be joined on the 3-person committee by Commissioner Doug Helzerman, who was one of the votes to end it last year, and Commissioner Wes Nakagiri. Nakagiri will take former Commissioner Domas’ seat, after Domas did not seek re-election.

Board Chair Don Parker stated that while they while want to be as transparent and open as possible, viewership numbers last year were “very low” and the committee needs to decide if this is the best way to spend taxpayer dollars. He said they will give the committee time, see what answers they come up with, and that he will keep an open mind, hoping everyone else does, as well.

Jordan Genso, who helped to orchestrate the protest, has disputed the notion that viewership was low, previously pointing out that, "when not even a tenth of the online viewership could physically fit inside the meeting chamber, it is undeniable that the broadcasting is needed for the county to abide by the spirit of the Open Meetings Act."

The new committee will meet on May 22nd, at 6:30pm, at the County Administration building. (MK)