Back in August of 2007, the City Council of San Jose approved a measure from the Sunshine Reform Task Force, which included a requirement that “all open meetings of the City Council… must be video recorded.”
If the current policy is upheld as it is read, it would require all city council meetings to be recorded for the sake of public record, regardless of meeting length or subject matter.
In July 2010 San Jose altered its delivery model by contracting with CreaTV to provide coverage for all council and other meetings. The cost for this service is $90/hour for filming and $89/hour for closed captioning services, which the city provides. The problem is that some of these meetings may not last the entire hour.
With contracted television services, the city would be paying film operators for waiting a length of time before the closed session ends. In addition to this, San Jose has altered the timing of closed sessions to days when it would not otherwise be conducting any other business.
San Jose’s proposed change also encompasses when the council enters a closed session. Typically, council members will give a brief report to the camera after reconvening from the closed session. An option the council provided was that, “Any report out of a closed session item that is not televised would be repeated under Closed Session Report at the next televised meeting.”
Over the course of a year, this cost adds up.