Opinion

Tune in soon.

The Scott County Board of Supervisors recently voted to put videos of their meetings online, joining most other local governments in the Quad-Cities in this basic step toward transparency.

This has been a long time coming. Two years ago, we urged the board to do this.

Unfortunately, the board dawdled. Big cost estimates have been thrown around, and doubts were expressed about whether such a step was even necessary.

It even became an election issue, as people like Supervisor Ken Croken pushed for the idea.

The logjam was broken recently when the board voted to spend about $50,000 to make this happen.

Matt Hirst, director of information technology for the county, told us the goal is to have this service online this month. In addition to watching the meetings live, there will be an archive of meeting videos.

We’ve always had a lot of respect for Scott County. Usually, it’s been responsive to information requests that we’ve made over the years. So, it has been a bit bewildering that it took so long to take this step. It’s not as if this is a cutting-edge idea or technology. Governments in this area, and all across the country, are doing this.

We don’t know how many people will tune into these meetings. As longtime observers of the board, we know this is one government that typically draws fewer people to their meetings than other governments in this area. Some claim this is because of the committee-of-the-whole’s 8 a.m. meeting time. We expect that debate to continue.

Regardless, we have always believed that giving constituents the chance to watch their elected leaders in action — and to do it in a way that fits their lifestyle and not the convenience of elected leaders — is not a frill but a basic government obligation.

We hope that, as more people see this as an option, they will tune in. But whether they do or don’t isn’t really the question. What matters is it is available.

We are happy to see the board has taken this step. We look forward to watching.

Quad City Times

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