Thursday, February 05, 2009

Ordinance Review meeting, Feb 5

Ordinance Review Committee Chairman Sheldon Dill had his first ORC meeting tonight. There was a lot on the agenda, but two items got my interest.

First was the massage parlor ordinance. I simply voiced my concern about reports I had heard in the press. I've read that there is a desire to fingerprint and photograph all masseuses now. Frankly, it's more big brother than I want. Particularly if masseuses need to post their photos next to the entrance of their business. I mean, I understand the police wanting to have the tools to stop the funny business. But this would be impacting all the actual masseuses in town.

Anyway, an alternative enforcement mechanism was discussed - health codes. I can handle that more easily than fingerprinting people.

Then came one of my favorite topics - videostreaming of Council meetings on the town website. I appreciate Sheldon putting it on the agenda. The reality is that for the past year and a half the Council majority sent this "to committee" so it could languish there... hoping it would be forgotten. Too bad they appointed Sheldon Dill.

As the Chamber President, Sheldon knows that videostreaming is relatively straightforward and would be a benefit to voters. He also did his research and found that only 65-70% of Cheshire residents get the town meetings on TV. Others have AT&T U-Verse TV. And still others (like me) have no TV.

The two main issues discussed were cost and technical difficulties - neither of which are insurmountable hurdles as far as I'm concerned. They need to be understood, but if this Council decided to place Council meetings on the town website... we all know we could have January's meeting up there by Saturday. Unfortunately, the reality is that several influential members of the current Council oppose improving transparency. And for those of you who don't know the history of my quest for videostreaming on the town website, see a recap here.

One other interesting point came up in the videostreaming discussion tonight... staff is concerned that Cheshire may be losing out on new business coming to town. That's because other towns are using videostreaming to sell themselves... while our Council is dawdling with a website that they hasn't changed in years.

Anyway, I'm hopeful that we'll get video on the Town website before the year is out.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

"if masseuses need to post their photos next to the entrance of their business"
That would help. Then the "customers" could determine it it would be worth going in....

Anonymous said...

Aside from transparency concerns (which should be the hallmark of a democracy) the Council videostreams are a major source of Town entertainment. Please voice your opinion to keep Cheshire's own version of Comedy Central alive!

tim white said...


Anonymous said...

Is it their purpose to drive these businesses out of town at a time when the economy in shambles?

Also, has anyone considered that we could lose our reputation as the Bedding Capital.