City of Charlotte brings live meeting stream back

City of Charlotte brings live meeting stream back

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Monday the public comment portion of Charlotte city council is back on Facebook live. The feeds were cut after the council lost control during meetings following the 2016 riots uptown.

At council Monday night, there were two debates. The first over whether to bring the live stream back and a separate debate over how to interact with people once it is.

"This subject is not as simple as some people in this room would like to have you think," council member Ed Driggs said.

Driggs said he thinks bringing the livestream of public comments back could mean trouble.

"I'm not trying to hide anything from the public, but we run the risk of getting involved in a shouting match in the social media space," he said.

Council member Braxton Winston brought the motion forward Monday. He said he wants to bring it back to all platforms, including Facebook Live.

"Connecting the folks that live in our city to the business that occurs here," Braxton said.

On Monday Braxton and several newer council members urged the importance of the streams.

"Ultimately that's the goal from a transparency perspective. For us to be closer to our residents so we know what they are thinking and what their concerns are," Dimple Ajmera said.

Winston's motion however brought up another debate about what people post underneath those videos.

"You have this completely disorganized exchange, among a whole lot of people, many of whom won't even properly identify themselves," Driggs said.

LaWana Mayfield voiced her concern over local commenters getting lost in the posts.

"[The video could] go to my good friend in Australia or my friend who lives in another part of this great nation," she said.

Meanwhile, Justin Harlow emphasized the need for that discussion.

"We can't understate the interaction community members can have amongst themselves," he said.

Ultimately, it was an eight to three vote, sending the stream back online, with Mayfield, Driggs and Gregory Phipps casting the opposing votes.

Council will discuss how to properly interact with posts on those streams during a retreat in Durham later this month.

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