Commission staff have recommended that the agency begin webcasting meetings of the commissioners for public viewing over the Internet
Published: Sunday, August 05, 2012, 8:07 AM Updated: Sunday, August 05, 2012, 8:13 AM
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission staff have recommended that the agency begin webcasting meetings of the commissioners for public viewing over the Internet, as the Pennsylvania Game Commission has been doing for more than a year.
However, at their most recent meeting, Fish and Boat commissioners appeared far from convinced of the merits of the idea.
While webcasts of Game commissioner meetings have seen online audiences of several dozen viewers, some webcasts of their pre-meeting working group sessions have been viewed by only a handful of people.
“I’m sure I’m showing my age, but that seems to me to be a waste of money,” Fish and Boat Commissioner Bill Sabatose commented after hearing a staff report that estimated the cost to get started in webcasting at about $4,000.
“This may be the future, but it seems like a lot of effort for very little gain. If the Game Commission has eight viewers, I’m sure we’ll get four, and one of those will be a staffer. So, we’ll have three.”
Commissioner Bill Worobec was slightly more open to the idea, noting, “I don’t watch this kind of stuff. I would rather take an Ambien. But, I guess we could try it and, if no one is watching it, discontinue it.”
Executive Director John Arway offered that webcasting the meetings could “get new people interested in our business.
“I watched (the Game Commission’s) work session a couple weeks ago and I saw that just me and eight other viewers were logged into the webcast session. I would say that is not a very big audience.”
However, he suggested, “we would have the ability to webcast the sessions and then archive them on our website so that anyone could go back and watch them at any time.”
Arway also noted that the agency recently created a Facebook page and within a week 50 people had “liked” it, without any promotion by the commission.
Meanwhile, the Game Commission will be webcasting the next working group session of commissioners at 8 a.m. Monday, Aug. 13.
The meeting, which is open to the public, will be held at commission headquarters in Harrisburg.
It will be webcast through the agency’s website at www.pgc.state.pa.us.
The working group meeting is being held in advance of the commissioners’ regularly scheduled quarterly meeting Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 24-25, in Franklin, Venango County.