500 and 99 yesterdays ago .....
On July 7, 2006 Senator Raymond Lesniak’s nephew, who is the appointed Union County Manager, was quoted in a Star-Ledger article headlined “Board Heads back to TV” .... “This investment in our sound system, PA and taping system will ensure that the public, our constituents and all entities that do business with the county will continue to receive information about our meetings in a timely and accurate manner,” County Manager George Devanney said yesterday....
The article went on to quote me as the President of the Union County Watchdog Association “…$78,000 seemed like an extraordinary amount to pay for new equipment .... “For 80,000 she said, “I would hope they would be Webcasting meetings too." .... “Actually, the county is looking into that” said Delia (county public information officer).
The county replaced their equipment in 2006 but they never distributed the meetings to the local cable stations, nor did they ever Webcast their meetings. The bills the UCWA eventually obtained through OPRA show the county spent $110,000 for the new equipment.
The UCWA has been Webcasting freeholder meetings as well as county budget hearings since January 2007.
One 2008 Union County Watchdog Association initiative is to have freeholder meetings broadcast on the local cable channels. Many towns have already moved to request these meetings and will begin to air them shortly.
Channel 26 programming is controlled by Comcast and is broadcast to most Union County towns. The UCWA will routinely request the meeting tape from the county through OPRA (pay $15.00 for it) and drop it to Comcast. The Dec. 20 meeting will be the first (the one the county claimed didn’t exist until the UCWA asked the Prosecutor’s office to investigate) it will be aired on February 28th @ 9:30 pm.
Things that make you go Hmmm.....
In response to the UCWA’s recent efforts to return freeholder meetings to the public cable viewing audiences throughout Union County the county’s extensive office of public information has revamped their efforts to distribute the freeholders taxpayer funded infomercial and have begun dropping off their ½ hour "Freeholder Forum" shows to cable stations – BUT not their meeting recordings.
The county has been promoting this show, which usually features a freeholder who is up for re-election, steadily on their website since approximately a million yesterdays ago.
Freeholder meetings are avialalbe on the UCWA Veotag account
Board heads back to TV - Star Ledger 7/7/06
Freeholder Forum Show county website promotion
County Watchers "What were they trying to keep from you?"