"Live, from City Hall, it's the West Jordan Show."
Or so it may be, if city officials make an agreement with a local cable television company to dedicate a cable channel for city use.Buy some hardware, install a dedicated down link to City Hall and zip zap - public meetings or even notices about a change in the garbage-collection schedule could be beamed via satellite to cable television subscribers throughout the city.
"We could have a teleprinter and send out written messages - like hotels do," said City Manager Ron Olson. "We could tape programs - particular council meetings or public hearings - and broadcast them on numerous occasions."
Insight Cablevision of Sandy has had the cable television franchise in West Jordan for several years and is renegotiating its agreement. Dedicating a channel for city use is a negotiating point of the new agreement, Olson said. "Conceptually we agree, but we haven't worked out the details yet," he said.
Also unknown at this point is whether the channel would be used for city business only. There is talk of broadcasting high school football games or offering the channel part time to the library, he said. "We don't know if we would get a completely dedicated city channel or one we get part of the time."
The entire City Council went to Ft. Collins, Colo., about two years ago to look at that city's innovative operating practices.
Every council meeting there is televised on a cable station; and all council members have monitors in front of them to see how they look _ and to see who's getting the most air time.
"They do it big. They have three or four video technicians that prepare for meetings, set up and broadcast just like in a studio," Olson said. "I don't think we would go to that extreme, but for several thousand dollars we could put a teleprinter in (to broadcast newsletters) and broadcast some meetings."
The West Jordan City Council conducted between 70 and 100 meetings as a preface to a road-bond election held in the city several weeks ago, Olson said. With a cable channel at its disposal, the city could tape one such meeting, or an important public hearing, and broadcast it over and over.
"It loses some of the personal touch, but a lot more people could get the information."
The political interplay in getting the station established could be an interesting preface to the city's actually going on the air: Who would get to name the station? What channel would it be on? Who would direct, engineer and edit programs?
Stay tuned _ details of the agreement should be known within the next year, Olson said.