Lake Charles City Council members voted unanimously on Wednesday for the city's staff to look into taping council meetings and airing them on the Calcasieu Government Channel, or C-Gov.
District A Councilwoman Mary Morris said residents in her district have repeatedly asked why council meetings aren't taped and broadcast on C-Gov. Currently, the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, city of Sulphur and town of Iowa all tape their meetings.
Taping and airing the meetings, Morris said, would allow those who can't attend the meetings to be more informed on council business.
"I think that this is something that is doable," she said. "We, as representatives, should look at that so that more people can participate in the process."
Charlotte Waymire, owner of Concerned Citizens of Calcasieu Parish, said the meetings, scheduled at 5:30 p.m., are difficult for some residents to attend without taking the day off from work. She said most residents don't attend public meetings unless an agenda item directly affects them.
"This is almost 2020; Lake Charles is really behind the times," Waymire said. "Most major cities and parishes do this. This is considered normal."
Airing the taped meetings on C-Gov provides better transparency for the decisions made by the City Council, Waymire said. It also would get rid of any hearsay that may occur after a meeting.
"People can see what actually occurred," she said. "It just greatly expands the circle of knowledge in the community. It also provides a permanent record."