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NAHANT — The Planning Board met to continue its discussion on alternatives to posting meetings on social media on Tuesday, and it is still searching for solutions.
During its last meeting of 2021, the Planning Board voted, 6-1, to stop recording and publishing its meetings.
“The law requires if the recording exists, it is a town record that needs to be maintained by the town and made available upon request,” Planning Board Chair Daniel Berman said at the prior meeting on Feb. 9, “which doesn’t answer the question of how the town should maintain it and make it available if essentially the town chooses not to publish them on YouTube.”
The main issue seems to be with storage. Social media sites such as YouTube have a much greater storage capacity compared to the town’s website, according to Berman. The board mentioned acquiring an external hard drive or even DVDs to store the recordings instead of using social media.
Berman told the board on Tuesday that he spoke with Town Administrator Antonio Barletta about the board’s concerns over putting the recordings on social media. Berman said that Barletta understood its concerns over having the videos posted to YouTube and was looking into possible alternatives.
“We had a good discussion,” Barletta told The Item. “I think I have a better understanding now of what the committee’s concern is after having that discussion with the chairman. We are going to attempt to solve that concern but also still prioritize transparency and public access to those meetings.”
Besides the storage issue, it was also revealed during the discussion with Barletta that streaming the meetings from the town website slows down the site significantly. Berman said that allowing the videos to be downloadable could be a valuable option.
Still, Berman is pleased that things are moving in the right direction.
“We’re making progress,” said Berman.
Board member Patrick O’Reilly said this is likely a common problem for many municipalities across the commonwealth and hopes Nahant can get some help.
“Maybe the state can provide some archiving service,” he said.