Live from the 10th floor? Maybe

You won’t see it on TV, but every other Thursday at 1:30 p.m. the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission meets on the 10th floor of City Hall to decide what this city will look like. It’s often decided in pieces — such as can a subdivision expand or can someone sell a house and turn it into a business. Other times, it’s not so simple. For example, can a Wal-Mart SuperCenter move in or is it OK to relocate some wetlands to make way for development?

Some of the city’s most contentious issues are first ruled on at the MAPC. The City Council can always overrule, but the MAPC’s decisions usually set the tone. Now some City Council members, such as Paul Gray and Sharon Fearey, think it would be best to broadcast the meetings since the decisions can change the face of a neighborhood. But a $67,225 remodel of their meeting room that the Council will vote on Tuesday doesn’t include broadcasting capabilities — just audio and visual additions to improve the information flow during the meetings. Fearey and others are asking for broadcasting capabilities. In a meeting Friday, City Manager George Kolb said he would bring back some new prices with broadcast included. “We will do the TV wiring,” he said after Fearey questioned it.

As it stands today, here’s what’s on the city’s purchase list:

  • 21 wireless microphones
  • Receiver and mixer for the mics
  • 22 4 inch speakers (two-ways with woofers and tweeters)
  • A 60×80 inch fabric screen
  • Sanyo projector with computer interfaces
  • A podium
  • Hook-ups for reporters to patch into the system with audio/visual recorders