SALEM - City residents can watch Salem City Council meetings whenever and wherever they want by visiting the city website at www.cityofsalemohio.org and clicking on Salem Council Videos.
City Auditor Betty Brothers said this gives an opportunity for everybody to watch council meetings.
For many years, council meetings have been aired live on Time Warner Cable on Local Channel 9 and then re-aired multiple times to give people a chance to watch if they can't attend in person at city hall.
The only drawback to that was the fact that not everybody has cable television and if a person was out of town, they couldn't access the broadcast. With the videos now available through the city website, anyone can watch from anywhere at any time within a couple of days of the actual meeting.
"There were some citizen requests for it," city Treasurer Bob Tullis said.
Tullis and city Planning & Zoning Officer Pat Morrissey handle the live broadcasts of the meetings from a booth in council chambers while city council clerk Debbie Bricker, who also serves as the administrative assistant to the mayor, helps with placing items on Channel 9 and helps enter information on the city's website.
Steven Rouse of Salem Area Websites designed the city's website and maintains it and helped as a consultant to get the video on the web. He explained the council videos are uploaded to a video server and a player provided on the city website to view the videos. He said the city officials did all the work of uploading the videos.
Council normally meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month. Tullis said the videos will be available on the Thursday after the meetings. Viewers can fast-forward and rewind while watching the video if they want to see something again or skip parts of the meeting.
The addition of the videos is just one of the ways the city is trying to improve access to city government, with the council meeting agendas and income tax reports also posted on the website prior to the meetings, along with lots of other information about city government.
Tullis said people can follow along with their own agenda while watching the meeting on television or later on while watching the video through the website.
Agendas are posted under Quick Downloads while Salem Council Videos are posted under Quick Links.