SAGUACHE — Saguache County Commissioners reported at their Tuesday meeting they have been looking into purchasing a system to record their meetings and have made some progress but would first like to consult with experts before making a final choice.
County co-administrator Lyn Zimmer-Lambert did the research on the systems online, coming up with several options in varying price ranges. Commissioners all agreed the $9,000 estimate from WSB Computers is not an option owing to budget constraints.
Other counties have all gone with WSB for their recording systems, Zimmer reported.
Commissioner Ken Anderson recommended a system with four microphones for $849. Commissioner Jason Anderson said he would prefer to spend a little more money and buy a system that had better reach and clarity, opting for a $1,800 system.
“You want it to pick up everything,” County Clerk and Recorder Carla Gomez told commissioners.
Zimmer said the downloading and software part of the system would still need to be worked out so those requesting copies of the recordings could obtain them. County Attorney Ben Gibbons added that the signed and written minutes would still be the official record of the meeting.
Money was still a problem and commissioners are not sure where the purchase cost will come from, but agreed to move forward. Commissioner Jason Anderson offered to contact electronic experts to learn more about what system would be best to purchase and said he would get back to commissioners on the matter.
Anderson said he would report his findings on the equipment at the June 8 meeting.
Commissioner Jason Anderson and to a lesser degree, Ken Anderson, both made campaign promises to record meetings when running for office in 2012. Former commissioners had opposed recording the meetings following the 2010 election controversy and resulting need for greater transparency.
An impromptu survey done two years ago showed that most surrounding counties have recorded their meetings for years and make the recordings available to county residents. Some even post videos of their entire meetings to Youtube or their websites.
A 2014 letter written to commissioners by Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition President Steven Zansberg advised commissioners it was “uncontestable” they had been in violation of the open meetings law on numerous occasions, and suggested recording their meetings as a remedy for the situation.