Johns Creek council members were not sold on the idea of spending $69,000 from the 2014 budget for a system to stream public meetings online. Mayor Mike Bodker and the City Council approved the budget for the upcoming fiscal year Monday, taking the funding earmarked for the system and adding it to the contingency fund instead.
“We’ve done that before where we have approved a budget and held a certain number out for a later vote,” said Councilwoman Karen Richardson.
City Manager John Kachmar said only City Council can move money out of the contingency fund.
While council members agreed the system seemed like a good concept, they were concerned about the cost and if the demand was large enough to warrant it.
“I’ve never had requests for this,” said Councilman Ivan Figueroa.
Kachmar said he talked to officials in neighboring cities that stream public meetings online. He said Milton has an average of eight viewers per meeting and Alpharetta has 54 average viewers.
Bodker said he has received numerous requests over the years to have public meetings streamed online and that is the reason he suggested funding the system. While it may be convenient for the public to make it to the 7 p.m. regular council meetings, many are unable to be at City Hall at 5 p.m. for council’s work session meetings, he said.