The Page County Board of Supervisors voted during the Feb. 2 meeting with a 2-to-1 vote to have an audio-only recording of the Page County Supervisors weekly meeting available on YouTube, which can be found by searching Page County Iowa.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the Page County Board of Supervisors made their weekly meeting available by Zoom, eventually, video recording the meetings and uploading those to YouTube. However, during the fiscal year 2022 budget meetings in January, it was brought to their attention that uploading the videos was using a lot of bandwidth in the courthouse during business hours.
“We had this talk a couple of weeks ago after discovering that our uploading of video was creating quite a stir regarding resources in the courthouse,” said Supervisor Chair Chuck Morris.
Kory Kline, the county’s information technology director, reported to the supervisors that when uploading a video to YouTube, it was slowing the bandwidth for everyone in the courthouse down. Kline would sometimes take the work home and upload it after hours.
Morris noted that having the meetings available by Zoom and the recordings posted on YouTube has benefited the county and those interested in seeing how the county government conducts business. However, he felt an audio recording was sufficient seeing how uploading a video was taking up resources and slowing down the bandwidth that the offices in the courthouse share.
After the supervisors voted on a two-week suspension of recording the meetings and uploading those to YouTube at the Jan. 19 meeting, Holmes began videoing the meetings and uploading those himself.
“My question to you is what does the video add that the audio doesn’t,” asked Morris.
Holmes defended his point by saying people cannot see individuals’ reactions and cannot see what is happening at the meetings in an audio recording.
“There have been stories on actions that happened at a meeting,” said Holmes. “If you watch the visual, you can then see for yourself and make up your own mind. I don’t see where this is a giant problem.”
Morris did not budge; repeating uploading videos took up resources and slowed down the courthouse bandwidth.
“I just can’t imagine that it couldn’t take place in a way that doesn’t hurt the bandwidth in a way we couldn’t perform business,” said Holmes.
Morris disagreed and said he would rather spend time figuring out how to pool resources and make fiber-optic cable available at the courthouse and throughout the county. He felt that an audio recording would be effective and wouldn’t chew up resources.
Supervisor Alan Armstrong motioned to put the audio recordings of the Page County Board of Supervisor meetings back on YouTube while continuing to explore other alternatives. Armstrong and Morris voted yes, with Holmes being the sole no.
Holmes said he plans to continue video recording the meetings and upload those on his own.
After consulting with the county legal team, Morris said the county would be under no obligation to provide a copy based on Holmes’ video. The official Page County recording will be audio-only and can be found by searching Page County Iowa on YouTube.
In other business, the Page County Board of Supervisors approved holding one meeting per month at 6 p.m. The evening meeting will be on the second Tuesday of each month beginning March 9. The remaining meetings during the month will continue at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesdays.