Ballard said there also might be legal problems if East Penn disseminates a video that includes parents reading pornographic passages from books they are complaining about, as happened at a school board meeting last year.
Seidenberger said the district will look into the legal concerns with board solicitor Marc Fisher.
Video recording of East Penn board meetings already is done by John Donches, husband of board member Lynn Donches. They are posted on the website of East Penn Citizens for Accountability andTransparency: epcat.us.
Ballard questioned how many hits a video of an East Penn board meeting might get, saying: “We’ve had meetings recorded by another entity and put out there and the last time I checked there were like 258 hits in a year.”
Responding, Seidenberger said: “We were able to look at that information: Jan. 14, nine views; Nov. 12, eight views; Oct. 8, 13 views; Sept. 24, 29 views – that was in the book controversy time.
Same thing with Sept. 10, 103 views; Aug. 27, 26; Aug. 13, 17; July 9, 13; June 25, 11 and June 11, 23 – that was the budget. Those are numbers we were able to take off another entity’s website regarding potential use.”
But Lynn Donches said those numbers are only of people who watch the entire webcast of a meeting. She said people who watch only the portion of the meeting are not counted.
The administration wants at least one camera on the school board and another on anyone making presentations to the board. It also wants to focus in on power point presentations made to the board. And officials want a recording system that is tied into the board room’s audio system for clear sound.
But Stolz recommended using a standard video camera and making DVD copies rather than archiving recordings on a server as the administration suggested. “Archiving them on a DVD would cost you like two bucks.”
Stolz said his suggestion would be “adequate” and cost much less than the administration’s recommendations. “I thank the administration for putting them together. I’m just trying to find a lower cost way of doing this.”