Portage Mayor Bonta wants meetings streamed through city website

Portage Mayor Austin Bonta wants to see more city meetings livestreamed, but not on Facebook Live.

Bonta shared his thoughts at a recent Port Authority meeting.

“I think there is a certain level of risk when you put something live on a platform like Facebook or Twitter,” he said. Instead, Bonta wants residents to go through the city’s website to view the meetings.

Currently, the city hosts meetings on YouTube. Bonta doesn’t see that as a big problem. What concerns him is all the comments viewers post on other social media during meetings.

He doesn’t want board members looking at their phones for comments during meetings.

“You don’t want people trying to manipulate the narrative of any meetings that are going on,” he said.

Bonta said he’s proposing this strategy for other public meetings in city as well.

“We’ve got the technology. We can get the meetings streamed on the city’s website at the moment,” he said.

Port Authority meetings haven’t been livestreamed or recorded in the past, but the board is looking at the cost of doing so.

“My goal is to get them all filmed and online,” Bonta said.

His concern is social media posts where people say, “You’re not going to believe what they’re doing in this meeting.”

Doug Ross is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.

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