County board’s meetings to appear on Channel 23

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 26, 2002

[02/26/02] Meetings of the Warren County Board of Supervisors will begin appearing on Vicksburg’s cable Channel 23 starting later this week.

Monday’s county board meeting was recorded by the city’s television staff. City board meetings have been on cable for a year since city officials struck a deal with Vicksburg Video for use of the channel. In fact, the city board meetings were moved from City Hall to an annex room converted into a TV studio.

“If it works, that’s all right,” said Richard George, president of the county governing board. “As long as it doesn’t become a problem.”

George said county officials were approached by Mayor Laurence Leyens about recording their meetings. While open to the public by law, officials can set limits on taping and photographing. Leyens has also offered use of the station to the Vicksburg Warren School District Board of Trustees and the Vicksburg Warren County Chamber of Commerce.

“It’s a great way to get the community involved,” Leyens said. “It’s more access to government.”

Vicksburg Video has allocated Channel 24 for school use, but school board members have refused to discuss it, citing budget issues. The cable company charges nothing, and Vicksburg’s expenses have been limited to cameras, lights and staff.

Since taking office in July, Leyens has pushed the city’s television station from a repeating slide show with occasional meetings to almost constant programming. School assemblies, manufacturing plant tours, the Christmas parade and other events are part of the regular fare.

The city’s television station also shows live meetings of the Vicksburg Zoning Board of Appeals and the Vicksburg Civil Service Commission as well as several other committee meetings.

The channel’s popularity, Leyens said, has led to a $10 fee that will be charged for copies of videotape shown on Channel 23. Leyens said there have been a lot of requests for copies of videos and that the fee was needed to offset the cost of making copies.