12/12/17 — Council to go Live, again

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Council to go Live, again

By Rochelle Moore
Published in News on December 12, 2017 5:50 AM

News-Argus file photo

Mark Weaver, left, with Communications Counsel, assists Goldsboro City Council members Antonio Williams and Bill Broadaway in finding and using the streaming live video feature of Facebook during a recent city council social media training session at the City Hall annex.

The Goldsboro City Council has tapped into one of the most popular forms of social media by broadcasting its meetings on Facebook Live for months.

Now, the council is gearing up to also use Facebook Live for its near two-hour work session meetings, which precede the regular council meetings twice a month.

The council typically meets on the first and third Monday of each month, except when holidays interrupt the schedule or in July when only one meeting is held.

The council starts with a work session at 5 p.m., in the second-floor conference room of City Hall annex, and follows with its 7 p.m. meeting in City Hall.

Since May, city staff have used a mounted camera, with a streaming device, which connects audio with video for the broadcast on Facebook Live.

Councilman Bevan Foster recently asked if the council can also use Facebook Live for its work sessions, which many residents do not attend.

Scott Williams, director of the Goldsboro Information Technology Department, presented the council with an estimated cost of $8,000 to $10,000 to purchase equipment needed to use Facebook Live for the work sessions.

During the Dec. 4 work session, Williams said the city would need to purchase a camera, broadcast device and microphones and related equipment, such as cables, before the meetings can go live.

"It's similar to what we do in the council chambers," Williams said.

The council agreed to allow the purchase of the equipment, and Williams said the meetings may be on Facebook as early as January.

"I think it's fine," said Mayor Chuck Allen. "I think the more we can put out there the better it is for us."

A single-view camera will be mounted in the corner of the meeting room, six microphones will be added to the council meeting table and a streaming device will connect video and audio for live broadcasting on Facebook, from the city's Facebook account, starting at 5 p.m., Williams said.

"The goal is to (start) by the first meeting in January or February," Williams said.