Star Valley Council Meetings Now On The Internet

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In the near future, people will be able to listen to a Star Valley Council or any other town meeting anytime by going to the town's Web site.

What Star Valley is doing closely mirrors what the Town of Payson has been doing for a while, though people can also view those meetings as well as listen to them on Payson's Web site.

Sarah Luckie, the town clerk of Star Valley said the idea first came to her after seeing what Payson was doing, as well as attending a clerk's conference in Chandler. She said there were many vendors at the conference that worked with the clerks and gave demonstrations on new ideas and technology.

"The big part of it was document archiving," Luckie said, adding she started looking at different companies to see which ones were the most user friendly, since the costs were comparable.

The town clerk said currently she creates agendas in "Word" document on computer and sends them out to the council, media and other people. At town council meetings, Luckie records the council meetings and then summarizes the meeting from the recording following the meeting.

She said the summaries are not close to verbatim.

"This is a process where I would have a laptop," she said, adding she could place notes and breaks into the notes. By doing this, she said, a person could log onto the Star Valley Web site and pick the location of the meeting he or she wants to hear, rather than searching the entire meeting, which is what they have to do now with the recordings.

"It goes right into our Web site," she said, adding the meetings -- if streamed -- would be live. She said one of the companies they looked at is the same one Payson is using.

Luckie said the only thing a person would have to do to hear a past council meeting is go to the site and click on the date of the meeting in question. The positive side, she said, is people could keep in touch with what is happening at Town Hall without having to go to the meetings -- if they have access to the Internet. She said even negative input would be welcome because it would mean residents are getting involved. She said senior citizens, if computer literate, would benefit greatly since they would not have to leave their homes to attend council meetings.

Luckie said this is an expensive process that the council would still need to approve, but added Mayor Chuck Heron has sat in on some of the presentations that were given to the town concerning this idea.

"We need to decide which company to go with," she said. "It may not be feasible until the next fiscal year."

She said this item will be placed on a council agenda in the next few months so it can be discussed more thoroughly.

"It would make my job much easier," the town clerk said. "It seems to be a new and upcoming thing."

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