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BAR issue to be put on upcoming agenda

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Taping, broadcasting panel's meetings on government access channel up for debate

By Ben Orcutt -- borcutt@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- The Town Council will put the issue of whether to continue videotaping and broadcasting Board of Architectural Review meetings on an upcoming agenda.

The Town Council discussed the matter during a Tuesday work session, and the majority of the panel appeared to be in agreement that the meetings should not be taped and broadcast over the government access channel.

Interim Town Manager Steven M. Burke told the Town Council that since Board of Architectural Review meetings are held only as needed that it makes it problematic to schedule someone to tape the meetings.

According to town documents, Board of Architectural Review meetings were first taped beginning in March 2009 and aired over Comcast Cable government access channel 16.

Burke also told the Town Council that the costs for videotaping Board of Architectural Review meetings continues to escalate. Burke said the fee for videotaping an average meeting is $75, which includes the costs of tapes and the videographer.

During council discussion, Mayor Timothy W. Darr asked if an audio recording was made of Board of Architectural Review meetings, and was told that is the case.

Darr said he wanted to make sure there was a back-up for the meeting minutes.

Also discussed during Monday's meeting was whether to continue to videotape and broadcast Planning Commission meetings.

Councilman Thomas E. Conkey said he would like to see the Planning Commission meetings continue to be taped and aired on the access channel, but he was fine with Board of Architectural Review meetings not being videotaped.

Councilman Carson C. Lauder Jr. spoke in a similar vein, saying he also would like to see the Planning Commission meetings continue to be taped and broadcast.

As for the Board of Architectural Review meetings, Vice Mayor Chris W. Holloway said that those who were interested in the topics being discussed would show up at the meetings and there was no need to videotape and broadcast them.

Councilman N. Shae Parker was the only member of the panel to voice some reservation about the proposal, saying if it was important enough to hold the Board of Architectural Review meetings, then perhaps it was important enough to videotape and broadcast

The consensus of the Town Council was to continue to tape the Planning Commission meetings.

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