I am referring to our local city council meetings.
Generally, most city/town council meetings are required to record all open meetings via minutes and Audio or Video. Usually members of the public can pick up a copy of the minutes and audio/video recording from the City Clerk for a small copy fee. Sometimes City Libraries (depends upon the city/town) will carry copies of the video recordings of city council meetings that members of the public can check out like you would a library book. City Council meetings often get recorded and shown on local public assess stations.
Generally, members of the public may video record or audio record city council meetings (open meetings) as long as they are not disruptive or get in the way or become a distraction. This is public information and these people are public employees. Many city council meetings across the country have been recorded and posted to Youtube. I would go to Youtube and type in a search for your city (Example: Seattle City Council Meeting or Philadelphia City Council Meeting). You will most likely already see a few from your city/town.
I would search on your city website or just ask about any special rules that ban the recording of meetings in your specific city, but generally I would say that it is most likely ok to tape and post on Youtube.
Thank you so very much! The problem we have been having is access to our city council meetings. For instance, you can view them as long as you pay for Wave cable. Many people here have dish, direct TV or Comcast. I have been trying to get them to get it streaming online because that is becoming popular to do so. It has made me feel very fearful and downright sick to my stomach if I miss meetings. You are right about the library and obtaining them for the $5.00 fee. I plan to do so and get them on Utube. When I went to a public planning meeting and the goal setting meeting I was NOT well received. It just makes me wonder how much of a problem this is in our whole country. The things they have tried to slip by us....it's been going on far too long. Apparently our little town is a mirror of the monster Washington has become. I'll try Silverton Oregon search on UTube as suggested.
I am glad that you attend your local city council meetings. Unfortunately, not many Americans bother to go to any city/town council, county council, school board meetings, etc. People like to complain, but not many people attend these sort of meetings. Even the council meetings in large cities like Philadelphia often have few citizens in attendance, unless some hot button issue is being discussed. The hot button issues often impact the average citizen less than the weekly business that these councils discuss and vote upon with nobody watching.
It is in front of these empty meetings that they vote themselves pay raises, vote for raising taxes, cutting critical services, etc. It is amazing that in a time of such high unemployment and voter anger that so few attend local public meetings or get involved. Lots of reasons exist for this, but one of them is that these local public officials do not want people knowing about the meetings or what is being discussed. Most of these politicians do not want people to be informed or to get involved. They would much rather you stay distracted with other things. I applaud your mission to bring more transparency to your local government.