Free stuff is the best stuff. There’s no denying that.
Twitter and Facebook are two examples — in the media industry — where public news connoisseurs can stay up to snuff on the latest happenings in their respective beyond their locales.
This is no different in the Friendly City, where the members of the local media report on an array of occurrences. We try our darndest to make sure our community is aware of happenings from city council and courtrooms, to local sports teams and the two school boards.
Not to prop myself on a pedestal too much, but my Twitter activity is more than all of my other colleagues in the editorial department. This is no fault of theirs. I just tweet and tweet and tweet.
Sometimes incessantly about a great deal of things, including what seems like the entirety of the sports world.
Once a month, however, I head to Prairie South School Division’s (PSSD) main office and sit in on its monthly board meeting. Since December 2013, I think I can count on one of my hands the number of times a member of the public has sat in on a meeting.
Do I wish more members of the public that attended meetings? Absolutely. Do I think that will change? No, I don’t.
It doesn’t bother me. After all, I have a job to do. Part of that job is live tweeting as much pertinent information that arises from PSSD board meetings — and Holy Trinity Catholic School Board meetings — as I can.
The public deserves to know what is taking place during these meetings.
Trustee Lew Young told his fellow PSSD board members that through my live tweeting, the public is made aware of what’s happening at the meetings. Although I appreciate the acknowledgement from Young, I disagree with the way he voted on fellow trustee Jan Radwanski’s notice of motion about live streaming board meetings.
Radwanski argued that live streaming of board meetings — and backing them up on some form of storage disk — will promote more response from the public, while increasing the transparency of the board.
I couldn’t agree more.
The motion passed by the slimmest of margins; so further discussion on live streaming of PSSD board meetings awaits my Twitter savvy thumbs.
Live streaming would increase transparency, it should — in theory — increase the level of communication between the board and people in any way linked to Prairie South.
Plus, the division would also beat the Catholic and public school divisions in both Saskatoon and Regina to the live streaming punch.
There will be a price tag associated with live streaming board meetings. What that cost is, I don’t know. Unless it’s annual hit upwards of $15,000, I am siding with Radwanski and the four other trustees who voted in favour of carrying the motion.
After all, Prairie South has a multi-million dollar cash surplus. So why not dip into it?
And in case you think I will stop tweeting PSSD board meeting nuggets should the board approve live streaming, you are mistaken.
My tweets will remain constant — free to be viewed by anyone.
Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks