The Chilliwack School District will begin streaming and recording their public meetings in September 2017. (Progress file)

The Chilliwack School District will begin streaming and recording their public meetings in September 2017. (Progress file)

Chilliwack school board votes to record meetings

Years of debate comes to an end with vote in favour of recording meetings

After years of debate, reports and failed motions, the Chilliwack School Board has voted in favour of recording meetings.

Recording, including live streaming, will likely begin with the new school year, says superintendent Evelyn Novak.

The board has been debating recording meetings for several years, often as an item brought to the table by Trustee Heather Maahs. However, in this most recent vote at the April 25 board meeting, Maahs ended up voting against the motion.

“I voted against it,” she says. “It came to us with a $40,000 price tag and that’s preposterous as far as I’m concerned.”

So, she made a motion that the board approve recording meetings with a top limit of $10,000. That motion was seconded, but failed.

“So I argued against my own motion,” she says. She ended up voting against it, along with trustees Silvia Dyck and Bob Patterson, but it went ahead with four votes in favour.

The recording will include video, can be streamed live or recorded for later viewing. And in the end, the amount agreed upon was a further $5,000 than originally proposed, for a total of $45,000. On April 11, a demonstration of the system was given to the board by PJS Systems Inc.

The Vancouver-based company specializes in design and installation of audio/visual solutions for boardrooms, conference rooms and meeting facilities, according to its website.

Novak said the system should be set up in time for the first meeting in September. It’s hoped that more members of the community will engage with activity at the board and district level, without having to attend the meetings in person. Meetings are held about twice a month, on Tuesdays at 7 p.m., and run between two and three hours.

Chilliwack Progress