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OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — Many people hoping to watch the MAPS 4 Citizens Advisory Board meeting Thursday via the City’s live stream on YouTube were disappointed to find a technical error prevented access to the meeting.

The meeting, scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m., went on as usual and was carried on the City’s cable channel. However, the scheduled live stream never appeared and those who are not on cable TV were left out of the equation.

Marty Peercy reports Local government

A live stream of public meetings is not required by statute, but it is a service provided by the City in the interest of transparency and civic engagement.

But on Thursday, that avenue of engagement was not available to members of the public and the press who wanted to view the meeting remotely for convenience or safety.

During the state of emergency declared during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, statute allowed for open meetings to be held remotely. Under those rules, live-streaming was required for government agencies.

When the state of emergency lapsed and the legislature and governor did nothing to extend the special exceptions for the Open Meetings Act, streaming meetings again became a courtesy rather than a requirement.

The City of Oklahoma City did not break any laws by failing to stream Thursday’s MAPS 4 meeting, but perhaps some good will was lost.

By 11:00 a.m. some 20 participants were still waiting for the stream to begin.

One member of City Staff, via twitter, informed this reporter that the meeting was airing on Channel 20 on local cable, and that the video of the meeting would be uploaded when available.

Kristy Yager, Director of Public information, spoke to Free Press via email, reassuring that the video would be available on the City’s YouTube channel around noon. Yager referred to the problem as an “IT issue.”

The ability of the public to access their local government safely–especially during a deadly pandemic that has claimed the lives of an estimated 1,616 members of the Oklahoma City community–is something that some would say should be expected.

Video of Thursday’s MAPS 4 Citizens Advisory Board was finally uploaded to the City’s YouTube channel at approximately 12:45 p.m. on Thursday.

Disclosure: Marty Peercy is the husband of Oklahoma City Council member JoBeth Hamon.

Last Updated January 13, 2022, 3:47 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor