Ex-candidate pushes for live video of Belle Glade meetings

Posted 8/13/20

BELLE GLADE — A former candidate who lost to a sitting city commissioner by fewer than two dozen votes in June is leading a charge to demand that the Belle Glade City Commission begin using …

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Ex-candidate pushes for live video of Belle Glade meetings

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BELLE GLADE — A former candidate who lost to a sitting city commissioner by fewer than two dozen votes in June is leading a charge to demand that the Belle Glade City Commission begin using Zoom so citizens can watch their government in action via a live online feed.

Currently, the only way to keep track of commission actions in real time is to tune into an audio feed.

Robert C. Mitchell, who took 48.9% of the votes in running against Commissioner Michael C. Martin on June 2, posted a call to action on his Facebook page Monday, Aug. 10, drawing attention to the city commission’s budget hearing set for that night and calling for Belle Glade residents to join in his demand:

“Belle Glade City Commission,
“We want you to bring us into the 21st century. Every city council (commission) in the State of Florida uses ZOOM so their citizens can actually participate in their democracy. We expect the next city commission meeting to be on ZOOM. FYI — the cost of Zoom paid monthly is $119.
“We the people demand to see the faces of our city commissioners, we want to see the people WE the people elected in action. Belle Glade, we’re the richest city on the Muck. If the other two cities can video their meetings we should be able to do the same!
“Simply put, Belle Glade, how can we the people (hold them) accountable if our city is not being transparent with us?” he finished, referring to the city commissioners.

Mitchell then suggeseted that citizens call the Belle Glade City Clerk’s Office “to further request for virtual Zoom commission meetings” at 561-992-2218.

Although he exaggerated somewhat about “every” governmental body in Florida using Zoom, the cities of Pahokee and South Bay, also “on the Muck,” do broadcast their meetings live online; in Pahokee, commissioners meet virtually and the video cameras are trained on the empty dais.

city, commission, featured, meeting

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