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With its own television channel, Provo government probably keeps residents better informed than any other city in Utah.

Leaders in many cities often complain about residents not attending council meetings, but not in Provo. Every Provo council meeting is aired on Channel 42 of the TCI and Provo Cable television networks.Residents now have even more access. The Provo City Council recently introduced a page on the World Wide Web developed by Debra Lindsay, an intern from Brigham Young University.

Want to know what happened at a specific meeting? Get on the Internet. Want to discuss a certain issue with a council member? Head to your computer.

Council Executive Director Ted Dowling said the page was created because council members want to use the same communication technology now used by many businesses and residents.

"It gives the council the opportunity to inform more citizens about what's going on in the community," Dowling said.

The council's page includes names, addresses and telephone numbers of each City Council member and the district they represent. It also contains a meeting schedule, and the agenda is posted the Friday before the meeting date.

The page has also simplified residents' access to minutes of past council meetings, saving them a trip to city offices.

Residents can use the page's e-mail to communicate with council members. If residents can't attend a meeting, they can send their views via e-mail. They can offer council members feedback on votes and bring problems to their attention.

The Provo Youth Council and Youth Court also have informational pages on the Web site. The council will use a section on the Neighborhood Program to post information on proposed zone changes, development proposals and public works projects.

"Citizens will be better informed on what's happening in their neighborhoods," Dowling said.

Sometime in the future, city officials might even use modern technology to conduct meetings. The Utah House is considering a bill that allows public bodies to hold meetings electronically - by telephone, Internet, video conference, satellite, etc.

HB162, sponsored by Rep. Brent H. Goodfellow, D-West Valley City, would allow electronic public meetings if an anchor location is set up with the equipment and facilities for the public to monitor the meeting and participate in the public portions.

The bill was endorsed last week by the House Public Utilities and Technology Committee and is now being considered by the full House.



Provo City Council on the Web

Web page address - (http://www.provo.org/council)

E-mail address - (provo.council1@email.state.ut.us)