Archive for Wednesday, November 7, 2001

City council makes Baker, TV debut

November 7, 2001

The Baldwin City Council meeting had a new look Monday night.

For the first time, the city council met at Baker University's Harter Union so the meeting could be televised.

Council member Ken Wagner said he thought moving the meeting from the Baldwin City Public Library to the Union so it could be televised was a good idea.

"I liked it," Wagner said. "I think it could be worked on to make it a little better, but I liked it."

He said he liked the larger-room setting.

"I'm not a big fan of the library room. It's kind of small. When people come in late, they could feel intimidated," he said. "But with the bigger room, they can come and go as they please."

Council member George McCrary said he was hopeful that people would watch the meeting on TV.

"I'll tell you in three weeks how I like it once I get feedback from people," McCrary said. "But I've had people tell me, 'You're going to be on TV tonight,' so at least I know they are aware of it."

He said he didn't think the change in location made a big difference in how the meeting was run.

"If you're truly doing your job, you're focused on what the content is," he said. "We're doing what we're supposed to be doing."

But McCrary said he would be pleased if having the meeting at the Union would increase community attendance.

"If having it there draws in more people, is that important? Yes," he said.

City Administrator Larry Paine said there were some improvements that would need to be made.

"Over the next couple of months, we have to adjust to the differences between the library and the Union," Paine said.

"I think there are a couple of things that we noticed," he said, "like putting a microphone at the staff table, which won't be a problem because we have an extra one, and adjustments of speakers talking in the microphones so everybody can hear."

But he said Monday's meeting wasn't much different from other city council meetings.

"There were two things that were different," he said. "It was a different room and there were microphones in front of us to pay attention to.

"But it was a regular meeting and we did our thing," Paine said.

Currently, the meetings will not be live because of the system that is set up between Baker and the cable company, Paine said.

"I don't know when that may, if ever, occur," he said.

Monday's meeting was delayed until 7 p.m. Tuesday on channel 99.

In other business, the city council:

Approved 5-0 the rezoning of 811 Grove St. from R-3, multifamily residential, to C-B, central business zoning.

Approved 5-0 to adopt new flood plain guidelines. By adopting the guidelines, Baldwin will continue to be eligible to receive Federal Emergency Management Agency funds to cover flood damage.

Approved 5-0 to pay the Baldwin City Fire Relief Association $3,390 to cover volunteer firefighters with a level of workers compensation insurance.

Approved 5-0 to close a section of Eighth and High streets Dec. 2 for the Christmas parade and tree lighting.

Tabled a discussion about the new Baldwin High School Champions sign until the state engineer looks at the proposed site.

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