Esslie-Frenia Law June 2023 Leaderboard

Chatham focuses on town communications strategy


CHATHAM–The Town Board may soon consider videotaping its monthly meetings and posting the video on its website.

At the board meeting Thursday, April 19 Councilman Bob Balcom recommended taping all public meetings at Town Hall, including Town Board, Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals meetings.

“If we’re trying to communicate and give more access to people,” said Mr. Balcom. “Why not videotape meetings and put it up on our website?”

Town Supervisor Jesse DeGroodt asked Mr. Balcom, as part of his role on the Town Communications Committee, to put together a proposal for videotaping the meetings, including equipment needed and total cost.

Mr. Balcom also reported that the Town Clerk’s Office is making some progress on updating the town’s website, which is being moved to an entirely new platform. Mr. Balcom suggested that once the new website is up and running, the town should be more prompt at posting meeting minutes online from Town Board, Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals meetings.

In response, Town Clerk Beth Anne Rippel said Town Board minutes were generally available upon request within two weeks of each meeting.

“But according to the state’s Open Meetings Law, the minutes need to be on our website,” said Mr. Balcom.

In other business, the board scheduled two public hearings prior to its next meeting Thursday, May 17. The first at 7 p.m. on the new town ethics law; the second, at 7:05 p.m. on the new Conservation Advisory Committee, is rescheduled from Thursday, April 19.

The board also approved a proposal to pay $350 tuition for Judge James Borgia-Forster to attend a “DWI on Trial” course in New York City on May 10.



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