In an effort to make official city meetings more accessible and user-friendly, the City of Bryan will be launching a new and improved way for its residents to live stream and connect to Bryan City Council meetings online. These new features will be available in time for the City's April 23 regularly scheduled council meeting.
The new government transparency suite, powered by Granicus Inc., will include a variety of special features, including mobile device capability of video streaming, video-indexed agenda items, and meetings available for download.
"While we always want to encourage our residents to attend City Council meetings, the reality is that not everyone has the time for that, and in some cases, transportation can pose a problem for our homebound citizens," says City Secretary Mary Lynne Stratta. "For those residents that wish to remain informed about local decisions, they will now have an easier time accessing live meetings, following along during meetings, watching past meetings, viewing meetings on mobile devices, and even downloading their own copies directly to their desktops."
Residents will continue to access City Council meetings live by visiting www.bryantx.gov. A link to both current and archived Council meetings will appear on the City's homepage. Residents will notice a more streamlined interface when viewing live meetings on their desktop or mobile device, and will see added features, including agenda bookmarks and download links, in the meeting archive.
"Currently, if residents are interested in a particular portion of a City Council meeting, they have no way of knowing when and how to find the exact point in which that item is up for discussion," says Stratta. "With our new system, residents can use index points to easily jump to any item and review only the information that is important to them. It also will be very easy for citizens to download meetings themselves."
Bryan City Council meetings take place the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, and citizens can expect archived meetings to be available within 24 hours.
"As with any new advancement and change in technology, we expect our citizens to have questions," says Jenna Kujawski, communications and marketing director. "The City of Bryan will release helpful video tips on how to access certain council meeting features and share those with our citizens on the City's website, Facebook and Twitter."
Kujawski adds, "If citizens ever need guidance on how to navigate the new features, city staff will be more than willing to answer their questions. We want residents to feel empowered to remain engaged with their local government."
The City of Bryan joins more than 1,000 governmental agencies across the nation that currently utilize Granicus to help conveniently deliver media online to their more than 300 million citizens.