Tonight I had plans to head over to the Apple Valley City Council meeting but due to a migraine I really didn’t feel up to it. Concerned that I would miss something important I double checked the Apple Valley City Council page and saw that they have, at some point, added live online streaming of city council meetings. Seeing that nearly made my day as we have chosen to drop all TV service and go with OTA digital TV only. This was mainly a budget decision but also because we’d prefer not to watch that much TV anyway.
So I fired up the stream tonight and watched the Apple Valley City Council hash out details on various topics but I was primarily interested in the discussions about Cobblestone Lake’s CDA and workforce housing additions. I have some information to request from the city first but you should see some of that soon.
That said, I’d like to first thank the city staff for offering the people the ability to stream the video live, especially for those that choose not to have cable TV service due to financial issues or the fact that they choose to use satellite TV instead. Second I’d like to note that the stream only buffered twice and I never lost any of the stream. It was clear, the audio superb and it was definitely a welcome alternative to sitting through a meeting in person looking more miserable than I normally am.
Believe it or not, I only have one minor complaint and that is while the website notes that you won’t be able to see anything unless a council meeting is occurring, the hard error that you receive when you try to open the stream could be a bit scary for those that are not as familiar with computers as others may be. The error said that it could not connect to the server and it continued to be unable to connect until about two minutes prior to the meeting’s official start time. Perhaps a better method could be employed there to make it a bit more accessible for those that aren’t terrible tech savvy. I could see people wrongly assuming that they or their computer was at fault for the problem when in fact it had more to do with poor documentation on the city’s website.
If you’re interested in viewing the Apple Valley City Council streams on nights that the meetings occur, you can click through here. The computer I used is a Windows machine and I am unsure of Mac or Linux compatibility. Perhaps next time I will try on my other machines to see.
They also offer archived videos as well but those aren’t posted in any timely manner (IMHO) and you may have to wait several weeks for them to appear on the site. I noticed that the 3/26/2009 archived video is available from Apple Valley and thus my prior statement is no longer valid. Awesome.
If you’re not an Apple Valley resident but are instead interested in seeing your own city council’s meetings live or archived, you can also check out other local city council meetings via the web here:
Burnsville (live, archived)
Eagan (archived only)
Farmington (live, archived)
Lakeville (archived only)
Rosemount (live, archived)
I couldn’t find anything for Hastings or Savage but if you do please post below and I’ll update the links.
I know that some of you have watched your city councils on TV but I’m wondering how many of you can’t access it due to your choice in TV service (or lack thereof). Knowing that not everyone can take an hour or more out of their day to attend the meetings in person, are you willing to take a peek online or on TV instead?