After having first raised the issue in 2008 and raised it ever since, Talk of the Sound is happy to report the Board of Education is now hosting videos of past board meetings online. While there has been now official announcement, Paul Costiglio, the Communications & Media Specialist for the City School District of New Rochelle emailed today in response to my question why New Rochelle High School sports videos were available online but not Board of Education meetings.
I wanted to let you know that your assertion from last week that BOE meetings are not viewable on our website is inaccurate. They have been on the District site for a while and the list now includes the meetings dating back to late November.
Simply click on Videos at the bottom of the heading District Resources on the homepage. Then click on Board of Education Meeting Videos and that will take you to the list of videos able to be viewed.
This is great news. I want to give kudos to Jeffrey Hastie who campaigned on the promise of greater transparency and specifically getting BoE meetings on TV and online. The videos are not live yet but this is at least a step in the right direction. I want to single out Deidre Polow for whatever the opposite of a kudo is as a person who made it clear that she would do everything in her power to prevent televising board meetings
For the record, I asked a question. I did not make an assertion. So my assertion was not inaccurate.
More to the point, there has been no announcement of this at any of the board meetings that I recall nor any press release or any other public announcement. Apparently the idea is that the public and press is required to monitor every link and sub-link on the District web site in order to determine whether there have been changes to the site. It's not just Talk of the Sound. Radio host Bruce Negrin did a show last week on the topic The NR BOE website - out of date & out of touch. So, while taking a step towards greater accessibility of board meetings, the fact of making the videos available on the web is not publicized. It's like some said "OK we will do the web video thing but don't tell anyone".
What is notable about Costiglio's email is his parroting Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak who has a penchant for making statements similar to this -- that Talk of the Sound is not a legitimate news source and that this or that story is not accurate. Why the brand new PR person for the New Rochelle school system would want to go out of his to portray a legitimate question as an assertion and then twist the facts to claim the "assertion" was not accurate seems counterproductive.
I am not going to let the ham-handed roll out diminish my happiness. A day to celebrate for New Rochelle -- more access to more of our government!