TV, or not TV?
Five months after a Secaucus Town Council subcommittee vowed to televise town meetings as quickly as possible, the governing body is still deadlocked about whether comments from the public should be taped and included.
“If a resident gets up and says, ‘You’re a [thief],’If that’s a false statement, do you put that on television?” said Councilman John Shinnick at Tuesday’s council meeting.
In Hoboken and Bayonne, comments from the public are included in their meeting coverage, although some have said residents and politicians are hamming it up and grandstanding more at meetings because they’re on TV.
Often, if a member of the public starts to say something libelous, the town at torney stops them.
In Hoboken, where the full City Council meeting is taped and aired, officials have erred on the side of free speech.
“I’ve been involved in some heated exchanges over the last couple of meetings, and having a camera in the room can easily be exploited,” said Hoboken Councilwoman Terry LaBruno, who sponsored the resolution for televised meetings in that city. “But it’s one of the best things I did and I don’t regret it. That’s what legislation and politics is sometimes about. How can you keep what you’re doing from the public? People have a right to know what’s going on. I don’t think the Secaucus councilpersons have any choice but to videotape their meetings.”
For more on this story, go to our homepage, http://www.hudsonreporter.com/, and click on Secaucus news this coming Sunday.
What do you think? Comment below!