MONCKS CORNER -- Putting Berkeley County Council meetings on camera would not only keep the public informed but also might discourage some bad behavior, the man trying to figure out how to set it up told council's transparency committee Friday.
"Some of these meetings are getting pretty volatile," Robert Reimers with Home Telecom said. "Once there's a camera in here ... people are going to behave better."
Reimers said after the meeting he was talking not just about Berkeley County but an increasing tendency around the nation for violent outbreaks in government meetings, including a man who shot at a Florida school board superintendent during a meeting in December.
Several council members, led by Tim Callanan, have been pushing to put council meetings on the Internet and a cable channel since last year. The transparency committee started meeting this spring to work out the details.
The big question Friday was what kind of camera to buy. There was some concern that a low-end camera mounted far back enough to show the entire council wouldn't produce a picture clear enough for people to see what was going on.
The committee instructed Reimers to set up a time when vendors could bring in various kinds of cameras so the committee could compare cost with performance.
Some residents also have complained they can't hear what council members are saying in committees since they started meeting at tables in front of the assembly room a few months ago. Finance Director Kace Smith, a member of the transparency committee, said the county will spend about $700 to $800 for wireless microphones for the committee meetings.