The Hempstead Town Board on Tuesday will broadcast its meetings live online.
The town has signed a $2,400 annual contract to broadcast meetings with the vendor Livestream, starting with its Tuesday board meeting.
Hempstead joins the City of Long Beach and the two other Nassau County towns, North Hempstead and Oyster Bay, which also broadcast meetings online.SIGN UPGet weekly community newsletters
The meetings can be viewed on the town’s website, www.toh.li, via computers, tablets and smartphones. Town officials will demonstrate broadcasting a staff meeting on the Monday before Tuesday’s town board meeting.
Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony Santino said he is trying to make his administration “more accessible and transparent.” The board has fielded years of criticism from residents asking for meetings to be recorded.
“Broadcasting live streaming videos of Town Board meetings over the Internet will help people stay updated on the town’s legislative proceedings,” Santino said in a statement.
Donna Casazza of Rockville Centre, who frequently attends meetings, said the broadcast is long overdue and will shine a light on town government and make meetings available to those who can’t make meetings, including the disabled and the elderly.
She said the town has resisted those calls for videotaping meetings in the past.
“I think it’s been a way to have a lack of transparency, and they’re finally coming around to being more transparent and have some accountability,” Casazza said.
The town began posting legal notices, bid proposals, job postings and town board meeting minutes online in March and was one of the first towns to post its budget online.
“I don’t think there’s been any resistance to it,” town spokesman Mike Deery said. “Supervisor Santino has made transparency a major priority in his administration.”