EDITORIAL: Porter County, get with the programs

2012-11-15T00:00:00Z EDITORIAL: Porter County, get with the programs nwitimes.com
November 15, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Whether you see it as a sleep aid or riveting political drama, an increasing amount of the public's business is being done on camera. The Porter County commissioners should join this effort.

It wouldn't be difficult to get the Porter County Council, Board of Commissioners and other public meetings online. 

Auditor Bob Wichlinski said he already has the money for the project and needs only the commissioners' approval to make it happen. "In terms of transparency, this is the ultimate tool," Wichlinski said.

The $10,000 for the software and the $5,000 for the cameras would allow video of meetings to be recorded and to be broadcast online. Wichlinski said the money would come from his office's nonreverting fund, generated by the crackdown on homestead deduction violations.

This is part of the total quality management program pursued by the auditor, treasurer, assessor, recorder, clerk and Portage Township assessor.

Wichlinski said the recordings would help his office follow through on decisions made during public meetings, such as the County Council's budget hearings.

The commissioners have been sitting on this proposal for a year. Commissioner Nancy Adams said she thought the broadcasts could educate the public on how county government functions. Commissioner-elect Laura Shurr Blaney said she supports the idea as long as it isn't cost-prohibitive. 

Watching these meetings online could be the next best thing to being there in person — or even better, if you want to prop up your feet and enjoy a snack during the meeting.

This should be an easy decision for the commissioners. Allow the public easier access to see the public's business being done online.

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