Bow public meetings broadcast again, but not recorded

  • Resident John Martin speaks about SB2 from an overflow room at the Bow Town Meeting on Wednesday, March 18, 2021.

Monitor staff
Published: 9/30/2022 5:06:46 PM
Modified: 9/30/2022 5:02:34 PM

When the pandemic forced businesses, schools and doctor visits to go online, public meetings were no exception.

In the town of Bow, officials used COVID-19 funds to purchase new equipment to livestream and record its meetings for public viewing. However, once the pandemic-related restrictions were lifted, meetings were no longer broadcast online.

Residents who appreciated remotely watching their elected officials do the town’s business recently presented a petition with 116 signatures in support of resuming livestreaming and recording town meetings.

The town conducted a brief trial period where meetings were livestreamed again and then decided to continue the practice going forward

“I think it's good for people to be able to watch the board's action, deliberation and voting on issues, especially if they can’t come in to witness that in person,” said Town Manager David Stack.

However, there is one wrinkle – the meetings will not be recorded and posted on YouTube for reviewing like they were before. Stack said written minutes provide residents with an opportunity to access information about the meeting after the fact. 

Many Bow residents are upset that the town's meetings are not being recorded, as was requested in their petition. They said it is difficult to watch the meetings at the scheduled time because of obligations at work and at home. 

Susan Marcotte-Jenkins, a Bow resident, was watching a livestream of a meeting on her couch when her phone rang. She had to leave the meeting to help her daughter, whose car had broken down. 

"It would have been really nice if I could have just hit record on that livestream, dealt with the minor family emergency, and then returned to the meeting," Marcotte-Jenkins said.

The next meeting of the Board of Selectmen is scheduled for Oct. 11 at 6 p.m.

Sruthi Gopalakrishnan

Sruthi Gopalakrishnan covers environmental and energy stories in Bow, Hopkinton, Dunbarton and Warner for the Concord Monitor. In 2022, she graduated from Northwestern University with a master's degree in journalism, specializing in investigative reporting. She also has a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Engineering and is always looking for new ways to incorporate data and visual elements into her stories. Her work has appeared in Energy News Network, Prism Reports and Crain's Chicago Business.

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