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City commission may air monthly meetings

ALBANY -- For the first time in more than 10 years the city commission may decide to broadcast commission meetings to the public.

City Manager Alfred Lott told commissioners this week that he thinks its time to bring back televised meetings for the benefit of the public who can't physically attend the meetings.

Assistant City Manager Wes Smith said that its been more than 10 years since the city stopped broadcasting the meetings.

"If my memory serves, the commission became aware of other communities that were using the broadcasts negatively against us by showing them to businesses and trying to coax them away from Albany," Smith said. "Back then the commission wasn't as cohesive and cordial as they are now."

If televised, the monthly business meetings would be aired on the government access channel.

"Ultimately the idea is to provide more transparency in the government and to give those who can't come to the meeting an opportunity to watch their government at work," Smith said.

The workshop meetings would not be televised.

Local government officials installed lighting and camera equipment in the city and county commission chambers in the mid-1990's, Smith said. The meetings were televised for a few years before the commission ultimately pulled the plug.