If you go to a Berkeley County Council meeting in the future, you might want to make sure your hair is combed.
Council will start broadcasting meetings on cable television this week.
The meetings are taped and are only available to some residents. The first broadcast, scheduled for 8 p.m. Wednesday on Home Telecom cable channel 6, is the meeting that was held Dec. 12.
Only customers of Home Telecom will be able to watch it. Initially, the meetings will not be broadcast on the Internet, on other cable or satellite systems or YouTube.
"We're going to look at ways that we can make them even more available," said county Supervisor Dan Davis. "We need to use whatever technology we can use within reason to make the meetings available to everybody throughout the county. We are aware that some (entities) record their meetings and put them on their website and you can see them anytime you want. That would be preferable. I think that folks would really want it so they can access it any time."
The broadcasts, part of an initiative to be more transparent, have been a goal of council since the beginning of the year.
The inaugural broadcast will help ensure that the system works correctly and cameras are where they need to be.
"It has taken a little bit of time to work out the technology part and we may still have additional tweaking that needs to be done, since it's the first time that we videotaped," said Deputy Supervisor Kace Smith.
The meetings will be recorded by two fixed ceiling-mounted cameras that can pan, tilt and zoom. One is trained on council members, the other is on the podium where people stand when addressing council.
"The cameras aren't very noticeable, but we've got to make sure we're picking everything up," Smith said.
Council voted in July to spend up to $5,672 for two high-definition quality cameras and other equipment, but Smith said she is not sure what the final cost was.
Council will tape committee meetings and council meetings that are held in the assembly room in the county office building. Meetings held in other rooms, such as the supervisor's conference room, will not be videotaped.
Council's other transparency initiatives include posting online financial transactions and the salaries of employees who make more than $50,000 annually, and improving audio feeds for anyone who wants to record meetings.
Reach Brenda Rindge at 937-5713 or www.facebook.com/b.rindge.