Video available on YouTube

The Hannibal Board of Public Works (HBPW), in an effort to reach more of its customers, will have recorded meetings available online.

"The plan is to record the audiovisual each month and have it available by the next day on the HBPW YouTube channel and then share a link to our social pages," said Kari Goodman, public relations coordinator for the HBPW.

Goodman said a link to the HBPW's YouTube channel is located in the header of the HBPW's website.

The first recording was made during the Feb. 19 HBPW Board meeting. While it has the potential of streaming meetings live that did not happen last week.

"We decided not to stream live video this month with us just beginning the process," Goodman said.

Goodman is hopeful that people unable to attend meetings will instead view them online.

"We got a good amount of feedback from customers who struggled to attend meetings due to time, so we moved up the monthly (board) meeting to 5 p.m. several months ago and now are offering these videos for those that still can't attend," she said, adding that YouTube will provide viewership numbers.

Goodman said this is just another way to help its customers stay informed.

"With so much information available at our fingertips, we thought this would be a great way for the community to stay up-to-date on utility business without having to reschedule their life," she said.

The decision to video meetings came after considerable discussion.

"We wanted to make sure that not only the board members were comfortable doing this but our staff was as well," Goodman said. "The final decision was twofold; we wanted to offer our customers the most convenient way to participate in these monthly meetings, and we want to be completely transparent with the community. So much information is discussed in these meetings and offering customers the ability to replay these discussions will hopefully allow our customers to stay informed and ask questions."

This is not the first time the HBPW has attempted to accommodate its customers. Last September the board switched its meetings from 3 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month to 5 p.m. on the third Monday of the month. Goodman said that change has not had a significant impact on attendance.

"Attendance at meetings typically varies in size, but I think we were hoping to see more in attendance on a monthly basis when we  moved he meetings back. When we weren't seeing those numbers, that's what we began the discussion to video record the meetings," she said.

To alert meeting attendees that the meeting is being video recorded, a disclaimer was read at the start of the HBPW Board meeting. The disclaimer will also be posted on the HBPW's  conference center entrance.

"As a courtesy we wanted to give the public plenty of notice that if they want to speak in the meeting they were going to be felt," Goodman said.

The full disclaimer can be found at https://www.hannibalbpw.org/departments/board-of-directors/.

This is not the first time public meetings in Hannibal have been recorded. A few years ago, Hannibal City Council meetings were recorded for playback on the local cable channel. This was not done by city staff, but by multimedia students with the Hannibal School District #60.

danny.henley@courierpost.com