Photographers stay to the back

After the County Commission meeting today, Chairman Ashley Paulk and I were chatting and he mentioned that starting at the next meeting everyone with a camera would be moved to the back of the room.

As I went out of the commission chambers, I met County Clerk Paige Dukes and I asked her about being moved to the back of the room. She said she didn’t know anything about it and had only over heard “them” talking about it before the meeting.

There was no indication who “them” was. She suggested that I clarify with the Chairman.

I went back into the Commission Chambers and asked Chairman Paulk to clarify, where would this area be and would it be only for press or even for citizens with cameras. He said it would be for everyone with cameras and that “some people” found it distracting to have cameras in the audience.

Again, it was not clear to me who the “some people” are.

The area he indicated in the back of the room is a small alcove where there is no seating. And he said that if any camera crews from TV stations came, they would also have to be in that area.

I mentioned to him that the audio in the back of the room is poor and one of the reasons I had moved from the second last row to the second from the front, is because the audio is much better in the front. He suggested that I talk to Aaron Kostyu the IT director.

Apparently the commissioners talked about this at their retreat in the spring (I missed that meeting). I guess we’ll see.


6 thoughts on “Photographers stay to the back

  1. Judy Haverkamp

    Cameras don’t bother me when I get up to speak. Sounds like they don’t want you there. Any why wouldn’t they say this during the meeting and not get you off to the side….

  2. Patrick Quarterman

    sounds like it is time for a wireless microphone of your own that gets placed up front before the meeting starts….

  3. Gretchen Quarterman

    We’ve been sitting firmly in our seats since it was mentioned at the retreat that moving about was distracting. I guess we’ll see. I’ll bring my tripod and a chair.

  4. An Outsider Looking In

    Just bring a palm video camcorder – with a nice lit’l handy zoom lens.
    Sounds to me like typical county tactics to hinder the Ga. Open Meetings Act.
    If they have allowed camera/video access previously located in close proximity to the panel, seems to me if they are slowly pushing them to the back of the meeting room, that should be an obvious attempt, from council member(s), to hinder the legal video/audio recording of a meeting which is covered under the Ga. Open Meetins Act – and, in which, audio/video recording is permitted under the state law.

  5. Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange

    The cameras we use are mostly palm size. It’s curious how this is the only elected or appointed body of the many we video that has ever made such a demand. Valdosta City Council, Hahira City Council, Lake Park City Council, Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, Jack Kingston and Sanford Bishop at town halls or other meetings, Barack Obama with Gretchen sitting two rows in front of him, even private meetings like the Lake Park Chamber of Commerce, all no problem. Even the Industrial Authority has actually asked me to come up beside their table to get a better video view of what they were projecting. I wonder what it is about the Lowndes County Commission that’s different? -jsq

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