Technical Difficulties Limit Access to City Council Meetings
The online live feed for several of the last council meetings lacked audio, video or sometimes both for several portions of the meetings.
The first hour and a half of the Nov. 19 meeting did not have any audio. While the entirety of the Dec. 4 meeting had neither live audio nor video. In all cases, the city has been able to recover videos at least a few days later for the public to watch.
However, a consequence of this occurred at the Sept. 10 special council meeting where attorney Kevin Shenkman officially threatened to sue the City if they fired their demographer responsible for creating by-district maps, David Ely. Despite the council keeping Ely, Shenkman still sued the city the next day.
Because at-home viewers could not watch the meeting, Mayor Al Robles had to again explain multiple times during following council meetings the reason for why the city is being sued.
The absence of audio and video does not violate any laws. Anyone can still attend the open meetings in person. The streaming service is provided as a courtesy by the City so that people who cannot physically attend for various reasons can remain informed about what’s happening in Carson. However, this hindrance now makes it difficult for those residents, which make up a large portion of the City’s population, to fully engage in the democratic process.
At the Nov. 19 council meeting, Mayor Robles assured the public the lack of audio and video is due to the City transitioning to a new IT system. The City Clerk’s office has confirmed with CAT all technical issues have since been taken care of and the video/audio will be readily available for the next city council meetings this year.