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Updated: City of Brooksville Loses Live Streaming Video System

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Those who were watching the livestream video of a recent Brooksville City Council meeting were surprised when the feed suddenly stopped. While the system is being repaired, Mayor Blake Bell said that the City is exploring other ways for residents who can’t make it to City Hall to watch the meetings.

On Feb. 22, Brooksville’s City Clerk Jennifer Battista issued a notice that the City Council’s March 4 meeting would not be livestreamed due to technical difficulties. “The parts to fix it are over $18,000, which is not budgeted,” Battista said later. “So, it will likely be down for the foreseeable future.”

Brooksville Mayor Blake Bell said that covering the cost of that unexpected expense would require some consideration. “We are willing to invest in (the live streaming system), but you either put $18,000 into juvenile park programs, for example, and make those happen, or you pay for the system, and I don’t want to do that,” he said. “This is taxpayer money and I don’t want to cut funding to other city services because of the malfunction.”

Meanwhile, some Brooksville residents have taken to social media speculating that since the system is down, all City Council meetings are closed to the public. “That is not true,” Bell said. “The meetings are all 100 percent open to the public and we have citizen input (sessions) in every meeting.”

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Until the system is up and running, Battista said that the City is exploring other ways to livestream city hall meetings to the public. “The City’s I.T. team is exploring alternatives, but nothing yet,” Battista said.

Update March 29: Mayor Blake Bell provided an update on the livestream, 

“Live streaming will be back for the City Council meeting this upcoming Monday [April 1]. Thank you for your patience in this matter. We wanted to find a secure way to livestream that is not compromised (we will never utilize Facebook to livestream because of the security risks).”

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