web page consultants:
|02-06-03: More info sought before tapes go in library
|St. Marys library board considers storing school board meeting recordings
By LANCE MIHM
The Daily Standard
ST. MARYS - St. Marys Community Public Library board members on
Wednesday requested a written proposal from a community group that wants to make video
tapes of school board meetings available to the public at the library.
"We would like a written proposal. How it will be taped, who will
have property of the tapes, if their will be time limits?" library board President
Don Glaser told Roughrider Focus Group secretary Sandy Dove.
Dove said the group plans to tape the meetings at their own cost and
wants to put the tapes on a shelf at the library.
"Celina (City Schools) has been doing it for 12 years," Dove
told the library board about taping school board meetings. "People that have been
doing that (taping the Celina meetings) have said they are willing to assist our group in
any way they can. It is another way of informing the public."
The board did not make an immediate decision, asking that a written
proposal be submitted to the board outlaying how the meetings will be taped.
The community group, which had been meeting sparingly since October
2001, recently decided to become an official non-profit organization. The group formed
after hearing concerns about disciplinary actions and administrative decisions in the
school system during the last 15 months.
Library board member Darwin Zeigler said he had several concerns about
the tapes being on tap at the library.
"We want to make sure it is a complete accurate report,"
Zeigler said. "Everything should be fair and accurate. We don't want things that
might slander somebody."
Zeigler also said he felt public comments could not be on the tapes.
However, Mark Gribben of Attorney General Jim Petro's office said Ohio
Sunshine Laws outline that audio and video recording of public sessions may not be
The school board would only be able to establish reasonable rules, such
as requiring equipment to be silent, unobtrusive, self-contained and self-powered to limit
interference with the ability of others to hear, see and participate in the meeting, he
"I don't see any rationale in wanting to prevent the public
comments (from being on the tape)," Gribben said. "The comments are open public
record. If they want a fair, accurate record, they should allow the whole meeting to be
taped ... It cannot be a fair, accurate report when pieces are left out."
Zeigler also said he was concerned about the group taping the meetings
and not an outside source. But Gribben said he feels there is nothing preventing the group
from doing so.
"They (the focus group) are a media source just like a newspaper
or a radio station," Gribben said. "I cannot see what the problem would be, no
matter who taped it."
Dove said the group plans to have a written proposal submitted to the
library board for approval before their next meeting March 5.
The Roughrider Focus Group announced they would tape the school board
meetings for the public after the school board rejected a suggestion to air the meetings
on the local access cable station. School board members said it would be too costly for
the school to do the taping itself.
"A lot of people cannot get to the meetings," Dove said.
"We want to make the meetings accessible to anyone who wants to view them."
SUBSCRIBE TO THE DAILY STANDARD
(419)586-2371, Fax: (419)586-6271
All content copyright 2003
The Standard Printing
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH