Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Atlantic Beach Keeps Audio on City Website; Mayor Says Few Are Listening, but Commission Wants to Stick with Minutes Alternative

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Atlantic Beach Keeps Audio on City Website; Mayor Says Few Are Listening, but Commission Wants to Stick with Minutes Alternative

Article excerpt

Byline: DREW DIXON

ATLANTIC BEACH - Despite Mayor Mike Borno's concerns that newly added audio recordings to the city's website aren't being used much, the city will continue to keep the meeting recordings on the Internet.

Borno asked for "reconsideration" of posting the recordings of each commission meeting on the city's website, www.ci.atlantic-beach.fl.us. At minimum, Borno said, no more than one meeting recording at a time should be posted on the site. There were also electronic technical glitches on some of the recordings that made it difficult to understand what was being said.

But the majority of the commission voted against Borno's motion Monday to change the recordings, with commissioners John Fletcher, Carolyn Woods and Jonathan Daugherty dissenting.

Borno said the city's Information Technology Department showed only 75 people have clicked on the recordings in the past two weeks since the audio postings were approved. And 25 of those visits to audio recordings were from technology employees running tests.

The recordings themselves became a controversial alternative to written minutes provided by city staff for each meeting.

Woods has complained for two months that the written minutes recorded by City Clerk Donna Bartle have been incomplete and biased. Woods' claims came as a result of her opposition to a new sewage pipeline to be installed off Selva Marina Drive; she worried that plan opponents' views weren't adequately reflected in the written meeting minutes.

Last month, Woods suggested adding audio recordings of the meetings to the website to provide accurate recordings and easy access for residents, and the commission approved.

Monday she said she prefers the six-meeting minimum the commission agreed to two weeks ago.

"Sometimes an issue takes a while to build," Woods said.

Fletcher said that once a meeting recording is up, it takes the clerk's staff little time to add another one and delete the outdated meeting audio link.

"There's no additional labor to staff to have six meetings," Fletcher said. …

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