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Whitewater’s Channel 990

Update 1, Tuesday morning:

Channel 990 is televising properly again. Here’s my original email, and a reply from Whitewater’s city manager, Cameron Clapper.  (See also a message below from Kristin Mickelson, Whitewater’s PR & Communications Manager.)

Original email:

Good morning, City Manager Clapper.
I hope this note finds you well, and enjoying a snow day in Whitewater.
I’m writing about a notice on the City of Whitewater website that (1) mentions technical difficulties with the city’s cable access channel, and (2) makes a commitment to post online the videos of public meetings within forty-eight to seventy-two hours.
(A screenshot of the announcement is attached for your ready reference.)
The notice raises three simple questions:
1. Is Channel 990 still experiencing technical difficulties? (While there are programs running now on 990 – at the time of this writing – the notice about difficulties is still posted at the city website.)
2. Does the city have an estimated time of repair for Channel 990 (if still necessary)?
3. As the city ordinarily posts recordings of principal public meetings within about twenty-four hours, why is the promised posting schedule of recorded (but not broadcast) meetings now two or three times as long?
These questions address open government in Whitewater, and so are relevant to the municipality’s routine responsibilities.
Looking forward to your reply.
Cordially,
Adams

Reply from Cameron Clapper, Whitewater’s city manager:

Mr. Adams,

Thank you for the email.

I have asked our PR & Communications Manager, Kristin Mickelson, to follow-up with you regarding your questions below. As far as I am aware, the challenge with our broadcasting equipment has been resolved for now and the notice has been removed from the website.

Kristin will be able to supply you with further details.

Most Sincerely,

Cameron Clapper

Whitewater City Manager

Update 2, Tuesday morning:

Reply from Kristin Mickelson, Whitewater’s PR & Communications Manager:

Good morning Mr. Adams,

Thank you for reaching out to us with your questions about the television station. I am happy to answer your questions below.

  1. Channel 990 was briefly offline yesterday, February 11, 2019 with no explanation of why. Our IT staff and myself looked into the issue and was able to get regular programming back on but was unable to broadcast the Plan Commission live. For this purpose, a message was posted to the website informing viewers there was an issue. As the programming is continuing to work at this time, I did remove the message from the city website.
  2. Though IT staff and myself still have not discovered the reason for the station going off air yesterday, we are going to continue to look into the issue and troubleshoot as the equipment is getting older and has had some issues on and off during my time here. We are going to test out our live streaming and update programming in hopes that everything is back to normal. If not, we will than look into other options or upgrades as needed.
  3. As we always strive to post city meetings and any programs we film right away, we cannot promise a 24 hour turnaround time. There are many steps to filming a meeting and preparing it to post to our website and it may take 24-72 hours for my staff to have this completed based on their schedules and procedure alone. Although it is very rare to take longer than a day to post a meeting, it would not be fair to promise 24 hours to our community and not be able to fulfill this promise. In this particular situation, with the equipment having performance issues earlier in the day and with the incoming weather, I was taking precaution that we may not have the man power to complete the editing and posting process within a 24 hour time period. However, I have an amazing staff who worked later in the evening to complete the process so it could be posted right away.

I have very high standards for my department and the TV station is only one part of that. I have a great staff of students who truly cares about their work and have been doing a great job creating new public service announcements and ensuring we have 24 hours of programming on our station whether it be meetings, school concerts, parades, or events around Wisconsin. I am grateful you are a viewer of our station and get to enjoy all the hard work and dedication we put into it. Thank you for asking your questions!

Have a great and safe day.

Kristin Mickelson
PR & Communications Manager

 

There’s a notice on the City of Whitewater’s website about technical difficulties, and I’ve sent along an email to Whitewater’s city manager with a few simple questions that the notice raises. I’ll post my original email and a reply, if any, I receive.  (Simple questions: whether the channel is still malfunctioning, how long a repair might take, and why the window for the city to post meeting videos online is now longer than the ordinary posting period.)

I’m mentioning the email now because it’s better to be candid about one’s communications with the government (as against a few entitled residents in this city who think that this government is at their private disposal).

There’s a proper order for a blogger to approach government, in matters big or small, as a common person. See Steps for Blogging on a Policy or Proposal.

2 comments for “Whitewater’s Channel 990

  1. Attendee
    02/13/2019 at 9:24 AM

    Good work asking about this (with nice replies from city). anyone who has been paying attention knows how f’ed up Milton and Jefferson situations have been. Can’t say why they have so much chaos. Maybe you are right that they are not as well informed w/o good recordings. Whatever the reason we should not take any chances.

  2. JOHN ADAMS
    02/13/2019 at 10:26 AM

    The right path in Whitewater is one of the best national standards applied to local conditions. In this case, that would be the best standards of open government applied to local government.

    The hyperlocalism that was at its high water mark in Whitewater in 2006-2007 (before the Great Recession) and yet lingers uses inferior standards (locally cobbled to suit one booster or another) and insists that those lesser standards are all that one should consider. Communities that go wrong use terms of art, for example, in misleading ways. Principles of ethics, conflicts of interest, and accountability are twisted into their very opposites and placed in the arsenal of self-interested local parties.

    Whitewater is not made better by that locally-fabricated principles (or ersatz ones claiming national or international foundations).

    The best of national standards applied to local conditions is the very least that Whitewater deserves – nothing less.