MINEOLA, NY( TIP) : Democratic Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams announced April 30 that he filed a resolution to make all County Legislative Hearings available online via video archive as well as meeting transcripts.
Legislator Kevan Abrahams moved to do this after learning of the due diligent work of a local Democratic Club leader, Henry Boitel, who worked to FOIL and archive meeting transcripts and make them available on his site after suggesting that the Nassau County Legislature use their web page to make these transcripts more accessible to residents.
“It is the duty of the legislature to provide access to its own records. It is just irresponsible to point residents to a private party website to get public information. I commend Mr. Boitel for taking the initiative to make this available for Nassau residents but agree it should be a function of the County.” stated Legislator Abrahams.
‘WHEREAS, open and transparent government is essential to maintaining a functional democracy, to promoting governmental integrity, accountability and efficiency and to fostering an informed and engaged electorate,’ are the opening words of the resolution that calls for legislative meeting transcripts to be made available online as well as digital videos of the meetings.
While the Nassau County Legislature’s website currently allows for live streaming of the meetings, they are not archived or taped in a way that would make them available for future use. “It’s important to not just make the transcripts available but the videos as well. It’s a quicker way than waiting for transcripts and allows working families who can’t be at the meetings to view the meetings at their own convenience and to see firsthand how their government is being managed and where their tax dollars are going.” stated Kevan Abrahams.
“I think in the interest of transparency and accountability both should be made available and it seems that technology certainly supports being able to do just that.” The measure would resolve the Legislative Clerk’s office, who oversees maintenance of the website and legislative archives, to make the transcripts available within 3 business days of receiving them.
It would also charge them with ensuring that the meetings are taped, archived and loaded on the site for digital use. “I am glad to hear that the Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves is on board with getting this done. I look forward to us working together to resolve this.” concluded Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams.