METUCHEN — It is a sign of the times — Borough Council meetings now air live on social media.
“As cable television has receded in popularity and has begun to lose its monopoly to these new technologies, Metuchen has caught on and has provided additional platforms for public viewing,” Council President Ronald Grayzel said.
The council meeting on Feb. 5, which was the first meeting to air on Facebook Live, recorded 2,200 views.
Grayzel said in the last few years, Rich DeSimone and Stephanie Gibson in the borough’s technology department have anticipated the development and popularity of alternative platforms that can deliver video services to the public.
With the launch of Facebook Live, the public now has six sources to view public meetings, including local television channel 15, YouTube, streaming live on Metuchen’s website, video on demand on the website, and Roku.
In January, Mayor Jonathan Busch said it is incumbent upon officials in a small town to be open, clear and transparent in the ways they communicate with the public. And with that, Busch said, officials have been working hard to reach Metuchen’s 13,781 residents.
“This is part of the continued effort to make your local government more transparent and to allow you more opportunities to hear what we are doing and to provide some input,” Busch said on Feb. 5.
The mayor said Facebook Live is “incredible” because residents do not have to subscribe to any particular service to watch a council meeting.
“You can be home on your couch watching it rather than coming to Borough Hall,” he said.
Busch said officials will continue open, clear and transparent communication via office hours during the week or by visiting local businesses during the year.
“I really encourage people to come visit. It’s a great opportunity to sit down. … I like to hear what you have to say and what’s going on,” he said. “It is important to have access to us in getting [your] ideas across and within the realm of ability and responsibility and certainly if it’s reasonable, we will do everything we can to accommodate you.”
Contact Kathy Chang at firstname.lastname@example.org.