Post #231: Credit where credit is due

Posted on April 8, 2019

The Town has made good on its recent promise to make recordings of public meetings accessible in a timely fashion.  I didn’t want to pipe up about this until I started seeing all of the public meetings showing up.  But if you will go to this page on the Town website, you can see, for the first time, recordings of the Transportation Safety Commission (TSC) and associated sub-committees.

Mostly I want to say, kudos to the Town’s audio engineer.  I sat in and recorded the bicycle portion of the TSC meeting.  Those folks were not used to being recorded.  It was a mess, from an audio standpoint.   People didn’t use the microphones, they forgot to turn the microphones on, they banged the microphones — you name it.  And as much as I may appreciate low-key soft-spoken people in real life, they are a right pain to deal with when setting sound levels in an audio recording.

Producing clear audio is not as easy as you might think.  As I was recording it, I was wondering how the Town was going to deal with all that.  And the Town’s audio is clear as a bell. Despite the absolute hash that the speakers made of their own sound levels.  I have no idea how they managed that.

There are still various “work sessions” that the Town does not record, and so there would be some rationale for me continuing to record.  But I believe that everything that is of official record — where people could in theory vote on stuff — is now recorded and posted on the Town’s website.  At this point, for any of my recordings, it’s always preferable to use the Town recording if it exists.  Their audio is much better than anything I can manage to do.

This is a boon for anyone who wants to know what the Town is doing.  I did not stay for the TSC portion of this meeting, but I now know (in hindsight) that they discussed, in part, the process for petitioning for traffic calming in Vienna.  I need to listen to that.  And now I can.  Without this, I would have no idea what went on in that meeting.

My only other comment, to the Town, would be to take this full circle and post the agendas for every committee, before each meeting.  On this one, for example, I only realized after-the-fact that traffic calming was on the agenda.