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posted: 5/21/2013 9:14 PM

DuPage forest preserve delays vote on web streaming

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Anyone who wants to watch a DuPage County Forest Preserve meeting on their computer or mobile device will have to wait a little longer.

Forest preserve commissioners on Tuesday postponed a scheduled vote to hire Granicus Inc., to provide the technology required to stream live video of their meetings.

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The web streaming contract was delayed for several reasons, including concerns about how the archived videos could be manipulated by political opponents.

Commissioner Linda Painter said the proposed contract with Granicus is so expensive and so complex that the district should consider other options. The proposed contract calls for $4,600 to cover initial costs and then monthly payments of roughly $550.

"I also would like more time to discuss this contract with our attorney," Painter said.

While most commissioners agreed to postpone the vote, they said they would like to have a contract approved next month.

"The forest preserve wants to make certain that we continue to convey to the public that we want to be as transparent as possible," President D. "Dewey" Pierotti said after the meeting.

Officials said the plan was to start live streaming in July. That launch date has been pushed back a month.

In the meantime, one of the questions Painter wants answered is whether individuals will be able to download the meeting videos.

"The purpose of this is to show our meetings online," she said. "I don't believe it's so people can download it and use it for whatever their own personal purpose is."

Officials said it's possible footage from archived meeting videos could end up in future political ads. But Commissioner Mary Lou Wehrli said that's not a good reason to delay the plan.

"I think some commissioners are just skittish," Wehrli said. "They're unfamiliar with being an elected official with that kind of exposure to the whole community."

Wehrli said residents who can't physically attend the meetings need another option to see what the district is doing.

"The bottom line is that we have to approve some type of electronic distribution of our meetings," she said.

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