The Livingston County Board of Commissioners will extend a trial run of broadcasting their bi-monthly meetings.

A committee, formed last fall, was tasked with exploring the concept of broadcasting board meetings. A trial period of six months was established and meetings are currently recorded and made available on the county website. The Board of Commissioners met Monday night and approved a resolution authorizing an agreement with SoundQue Multimedia to provide video recording services of the meetings through December 31st, 2018.

Howell Township resident Judith Minton attended the board’s meeting and says she support the decision to continue broadcasting as it is beneficial to a range of demographics. Minton, who is running as a Democrat for a seat on the Howell Township board, says it's a great opportunity for those who work third and fourth shifts, but also a teachable moment for children to help engage them in community government. Minton says the recordings can be used by teachers to encourage young people to be civilly-minded.

Resident Kasey Helton, a Democratic candidate for the District 6 seat on the board, also supported the board's decision, saying she watches online when she can't make it to a meeting. Helton feels access to media is limited in Livingston County and doesn't see a reason to limit access to another arm of service that could be provided to voters to keep track of what the board is doing.

Commissioners have said the decision to extend the services is based on the need for a longer proof of concept period. Commissioner Doug Helzerman says the number of viewers has been disappointing and more data is needed. He encouraged anyone watching to provide feedback as to why they watch the meetings online and for how long. Input can be sent to (DK)