If you have been looking forward to watching the Manteca Unified Board of Trustees meeting live-streamed on the Internet or on YouTube, don’t hold your breath.
The reality of that happening could take a while.
The board discussed the possibility of that happening at their meeting Tuesday night. But it died in motion. And the motion, made by Trustee Alexander Bronson, was not even a statement to let it happen. Bronson’s motion was not to go through with live-streaming the monthly meetings. The motion died because none of the other trustees said anything by way of response or comment. It died in silence.
Absent of a live broadcast, the public can still review the board proceedings via the audio method.
Currently, “We do audio taping of meetings,” Superintendent Jason Messer said.
That audio can be downloaded online by anybody. Simply log on to the district website – www.mantecausd.net – click on Board & Superintendent, then on the left column under Superintendent click on Board Audio. The only problem with that, Leo Bennet Cauchon said in his comment before the board, was that the audio is “hard to download.”
By the numbers, live streaming board meetings could cost anywhere from $7,500 to $125,000 – and the expenses may not even stop there if one factors in other incidental expenses such as paying for related online services needed to deploy, or to keep deploying, the live coverage.
The baseline $7,500 would be the cheapest and would pay for a tape-delayed viewing. It’s a technique that both the cities of Manteca and Lathrop utilized years ago when live-streaming was in its infancy, at least, in local application. When Lathrop started using this method, the recorded meeting was taken to Manteca City Hall where the video was played the following day via the Comcast Cable network.
Messer pointed out that the tape-delayed process would probably give “not the best video quality.” This could cost $7,500 at minimum, Messer said.
The higher costs would be incurred in the upgrading of the school district’s videotaping infrastructure, which means gutting what is already in place to install a video platform.
Additional expenses would come in the form of fees paid to a video-deployment service provider such as YouTube.
There would be “zero editing” if the meetings are live-streamed on the Internet, Messer said.
Commented Bronson prior to making his motion, he said he’d rather see the money “go back to our children.”