Council, School Committee meetings to be broadcast
KITTERY, Maine — Town residents can sit in the comfort of their homes and watch the Town Council meetings on their television — and that’s just the beginning of offerings in store on Kittery’s public access channel.
Town Manager Nancy Colbert Puff is working to revitalize the dormant Channel 22, with the goal of turning it into a real community channel — with the help of what she hopes will be a number of volunteers.
In just the past few months, the Town Council and School Committee meetings began to be broadcast live, and are being rebroadcast at certain times throughout the week. Before long, the Planning Board meetings will also be broadcast live, Colbert Puff said.
A bulletin board showing snow emergencies, Town Hall closures and parking bans are shown in between rebroadcasts. Colbert Puff said the goal is to create a community announcement space, as time permits.
But the sky is in many ways the limit with the public broadcast channel. All of the infrastructure is in place for live video transport devices to be installed at the Kittery Community Center, Fire Department, Traip Academy and Shapleigh Middle School gyms, and Memorial Field.
The town will have to get portable cameras, but camera equipment is all being paid for under the Comcast contract with the town. Efforts to expand to satellite sites is in the future, Colbert Puff said.
“We’re not ready to do that yet. We would have to train people to use the cameras, and create policies and regulations” around that use, she said. The first step is “maximizing capability at Town Hall,” she added.
Right now, one cameraman is staffing the council and School Committee meetings, but as additional meetings are added, it may be necessary to train volunteers to help.
Colbert Puff said she would ultimately like to see a town-sponsored committee that would shepherd Channel 22 programming.
The effort to expand Channel 22 has been a priority for Town Councilor Chuck Denault, the town’s former information technologist. The longer she has been town manager, Colbert Puff said, the more she understands the process of getting the channel off the ground.
“We’re getting there,” she said. “I see these things as more immediate rather than far out.”
Want to watch?
Town Council meetings: Rebroadcast daily at 7 p.m. and 11 p.m., and at noon Saturday and Sunday
School Committee meetings: Rebroadcast on weekends at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.