City begins streaming council meetings on YouTube

The Winters City Council began streaming its public meetings on YouTube earlier this month, according to a notice published online.
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FILE: The front of City Hall in Downtown Winters. Photo by Matthew Keys

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The Winters City Council began streaming its public meetings on YouTube earlier this month, according to a notice published online.

In a phone interview with the Express, outgoing city clerk Nanci Mills said officials knew there was a need to make council meetings more available to the public and chose YouTube as its distribution platform mostly due to cost considerations.

The city looked at a number of solutions, including one used by Yolo County, but the $50,000 setup price tag and $500 ongoing monthly maintenance fee was too much for Winters to stomach.

“We know, being small and not having a lot of resources, that we needed to stream or have some way to view the meetings,” Mills said. “So we just networked and tried to brainstorm something that…wouldn’t take a lot of resources.”

The city’s information technology contractor came up with a solution that involved plugging a soundboard and a webcam into a laptop computer that streams the feed directly to YouTube. The council meetings are streamed in real time and archived for free viewing after the meetings end.

In the future, the same feed used by the city to stream council meetings will be available on the Winters Express website.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImP2EgeEhhM&w=560&h=315]

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