Tryon looks to be more transparent with meeting information

Published 9:45 pm Friday, February 26, 2016


By Leah Justice

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The Town of Tryon is looking into ways to be more transparent, including archiving audio recordings of all meetings and videotaping meetings.

Tryon Town Council met Feb. 16 and heard from Commissioner Crys Armbrust who said he’s had a number of conversations with citizens about a concern of his regarding information sharing, storage and acquisition.

“It’s almost impossible in our present structure to gather information,” Armbrust said.

He said it’s difficult for citizens to know exactly what the town is doing as their elected commissioners and the only information generally available about what council does is in the form of the motions passed. There’s nothing in depth, Armbrust said, on sometimes very important matters.

The town does record every meeting, but Armbrust said the recordings are kept for a very short time. He suggested archiving the recordings and to put the audio of the meetings on the town’s website and somewhere they can stay forever, such as a cloud account.

Commissioner Roy Miller said many places videotape meetings and broadcast them over local television stations. He said the same issue of how council gets information to citizens came up at a recent Eastside Citizen Advisory Committee meeting.

“Everyone doesn’t own a computer,” Miller said. “Not everyone reads the Bulletin.

Miller said everyone does get a water bill and the town could attach minutes to those.

Miller said the town has got to do a better job of getting information to its citizens. He also suggested backing monthly meetings to 6 p.m. instead of 7 p.m., saying 7 p.m. is late for some residents.

Council came to a consensus to look into both archiving recordings of the meetings and videotaping meetings. The town plans to come back at its March meeting with possible ways to accomplish that and costs.