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Bethlehem Launches New Webcasting System: Streamlined Agenda System and Archived Video Improves Access

February 29, 2012
Original Publication by Town of Bethlehem
Town of Bethlehem, NY

Bethlehem Town Government is constantly looking for ways to improve and enhance communication and interaction with the residents and businesses that call Bethlehem their home. A significant initiative to streamline the public meeting processes and provide the public with a comprehensive view of that process was realized when Bethlehem selected and successfully launched IQM2’s M2 Software Suite comprised of fully automated agenda and minutes management software with integrated live and on-demand video streaming. The system can accommodate all three meeting boards (Town, Planning and Zoning) and all content can be accessed via a web portal on the Internet. Currently just the Town Board meetings are available, with future expansion planned to include the two other boards.

The MediaTraq module of the system provides live streaming of the meeting to the web while creating a video which can be accessed on-demand once the meeting has completed. The meeting agenda is displayed with the video along with any attachments and voting record. The on-demand video is indexed to each agenda topic so if the viewer is only interested in the fourth item on the agenda, all they need to do is to click on that item and the video will begin at that point in the meeting. All associated document attachments related to the item are also available.

The MinuteTraq module of the system automatically creates the agenda and agenda packet documents from the input of the various Town departments; this process includes automatic electronic routing and approvals before an item is included on the agenda. MinuteTraq uses the agenda to create a minutes template that the Town Clerk’s Office then uses to generate the meeting minutes, saving a large amount of time, potentially overtime, on the minutes creation process. All of these documents and video are stored on IQM2’s servers with no limit on the amount of storage used. IQM2 maintains several back-up servers around the country in case of any system failures.

The cameras and video equipment for the Town Hall auditorium have been funded at no cost to the Town by Verizon under the Town’s new franchise agreement. A copy of the meeting content is given to the Bethlehem Town Library for television broadcasting, saving them what used to be three days of editing and the need to provide a camera operator to record the meeting. Town Board meetings are now video recorded by the Town Clerk’s Office.

The new system reaches into the three currently discussed areas of government, increased public access, internal process efficiencies and shared services among taxing agencies.

You can try out our new system from our web site by clicking on the Town Board Agenda link. We hope you enjoy the viewing experience and this

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IQM2 is a market leader in furnishing end-to-end public meeting and Open Government software solutions through their award-winning Open Meeting Management System applications including MinuteTraq (agenda process improvement), MediaTraq (Live/On-Demand Video Streaming) and E-Boardroom (electronic voting).

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