Councillor photographs residents at meeting

Councillor David Fardig takes a photo at last Monday's special electors meeting.
Councillor David Fardig takes a photo at last Monday's special electors meeting.

Attendees voted overwhelmingly in favour of allowing recording, subverting a recent council decision not to record or stream council meetings live online.

But Councillor John McNamara said he would take legal action against any individuals who reproduced recordings or photographs of him.

Councillor David Fardig, who spoke out strongly against the recording of council meetings recently, used his own camera phone to capture speakers on the floor.

A crowd of about 150 residents, development representatives and council staff met to discuss decisions that led to the council supporting rezoning of the privately-owned Rosehill Golf Course, effectively giving the green light to a large housing development in South Guildford.

Last Monday was the third special electors meeting since May, when residents first requested the recording or live streaming of meetings because many felt they were inadequately consulted regarding a proposal to remove two trees at a Guildford park. They also wanted greater access to local government proceedings.

Despite the vote to allow recording and photographs of the Midland Town Hall meeting, the practice is still prohibited at general council meetings in the City of Swan council chambers.

Council voted against the motion to allow recordings at its September 10 meeting.

An officer’s report tabled at the meeting claimed the costs of recording and live streaming would range between $3000 and $200,000. City chief executive Mike Foley said the cost to hire and set up the public address system at last Monday’s meeting was $2100.

But an audio visual hire and installation company disputed the claims, saying the cost of boardroom style recording, provided the sound equipment was already is place, cost about $200. The cost is further reduced if a recording device with WAV or MP3 format is provided.