Small towns across the country face two major challenges to offering videos of public open meetings. First, they have a small staff who is already covering the responsibilities of several departments. Town clerks regularly take on the role of town administrator and technical manager, making time a limiting factor. Secondly, expensive video equipment is beyond their budget. They do not have the funds for expensive hardware or software. These two factors, time and money, are barriers to building trust through government transparency.
Providing resources for government engagement is a priority for small towns, but due to limited personnel and resources, it is not always possible to offer the same level of services as larger cities. They do just enough to meet the minimum requirements of open meeting laws, providing meeting announcements, agendas and minutes. Small towns know that so much more is possible, if only the two major challenges can be overcome.
Open.Media software has resolved both of those challenges for many small towns. Limited personnel and small budgets were no longer barriers to providing rich resources to constituents. Now a single person can manage live streams, video records, agendas, minutes and meeting documents with the click of a few buttons. Gathering all those resources and making them available online is no longer a complicated process requiring a lot of time.
Since Open.Media works with any hardware configuration, there was no need to purchase new expensive video equipment. The small towns were able to utilize their existing webcams and cameras. In addition, the software service is free for small governments, so there was no cost.
Open.Media made it possible for small towns to offer the same high end services as large cities.