By Mario Conde
At its regular weekly meeting Tuesday, the County Board of Supervisors approved to enter into an agreement with Granicus, INC. to streamline the board meetings via audio on the internet. Granicus is a San Francisco based company that has been in existence for ten years and has 600 clients all over the United States from Congress to local governments. Board clerk Sylvia Bermudez said that they have been in negotiation with this company for three years and have come the conclusion that Granicus is the best option for the County.
The new digital recording system will allow valley constituents to listen the Board meetings on its entire form. With this new technology, people will be able to access current and past agendas items and backup material. The backup to the agenda will be able to shared and sent by mail, or be linked to Facebook and Twitter. People will also be able to click on and agenda item and hear the audio on that particular issue. The County hopes to have live video in the near future.
The Board also purchased new touch screen material to vote and a new LCD screen to show voting results. Board Clerk Sylvia Bermudez said that their current equipment is unreliable and need to upgrade with this new technology. Bermudez said that the press will benefit from this new technology since they will be able to access the backup information for the County Board meeting in advance and added that this will help County Staff to reduce the amount of copies made. County Board members will now use digital agendas for their meetings.
The cost of this service will be for $112, 824.74; Bermudez said that this money was set aside for the Clerks Budget years ago when Roberta Burns, former clerk, saved before retiring. Chairman of the Board Louis Fuentes said that this is a great tool to have the constituency be more involved with the legislative process since teachers can use it for their students and local student governments can look at what is happening at the County level.
The new technology will be up and running in June.