Supervisor Ammiano moves
to televise San Francisco School Board meetings
Supervisor Ammiano sponsored a move to discuss the feasability
San Francisco's School Board meetings at the Goverment and Audits
Committee hearing yesterday. Supervisor Alioto-Pier (with newborn
Valentina) supports the move.
By Aldrich M. Tan
May 9, 2006
Discussions at the Government Audit and Oversight committee on
Monday brought the school district one step closer to televising
Supervisor Tom Ammiano said he will be introducing legislation
to the Board of Supervisors this Tuesday to make funding for televising
the school district meetings part of this year's budget process.
"This is something that I want very much to happen,"
Ammiano said. "I have received a number of e-mails in popular
support of this idea."
The school district supports the televising of its meetings,
said Matthew Keleman, chief
development officer for the San Francisco Unified School District.
The school board passed a resolution two years ago to support
the televising of its meetings.
"The Board is very much in support," Kelemen said,
"but the project has been on hold because of the significant
deficits that we are facing in the school district.
"So, the school board will have no problem accepting funds
if we choose to allocate money toward televising the meetings?"
Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier asked. Alioto-Pier said she would
co-sign Ammiano's legislation.
"I imagine that you will have the support of the Board of
Education," Keleman estimated.
The school board is negotiating with Comcast to install wiring
in 555 Franklin St. through the Department of Telecommunications
and Information Service in order for the cable network to meet
specific public access requirements, Keleman said.
The most feasible option for Board of Education coverage is to
install video cameras at 555 Franklin St., said Jack Chin, general
manager of SFGTV. It would cost $23,000 annually to videotape
the full Board of Education meetings and the equipment and installation
would cost $150,000.
There is only one scheduling issue, reported Brian Roberts, spokesman
for the Department of Telecommunications and Information Services.
The Board of Education meetings takes place every other Tuesday
evening starting at 7 p.m. and may conflict with live coverage
of the Public Utilities Commission meetings.
However, SFGTV does not have to air the meetings live, Roberts
Ammiano said the school board meetings could be on the air by
the end of the year if the city approves funding.
"We can make this happen with the cooperation of the school
district," Ammiano said.