Brian Meek, a private McPherson resident, has taken on a mission. For more than a year, Meek has been streaming the McPherson Public School Board meetings on his Facebook page for constituents to view. He doesn’t get paid to do this; he volunteers his own time and resources to make the meetings available to the public.
When the district moved to holding their meetings on Zoom, they would live stream the meeting on the district YouTube page, but they would not archive the meeting for later viewing. If you could tune in at that exact time, you could see it live, but if you had another obligation, you were out of luck. This is why Meek’s streaming became so important. People want transparency, they want to know what their elected leaders are doing and they deserve to be able to see it, even in a pandemic. With Meek’s videos, people could stay informed.
The district has once again returned to in-person meetings. This week, the central office was packed with attendees at the meeting—very few masks in sight and no social distancing. People want to attend the meetings, which is wonderful. But what about those people who cannot attend in person? Those who are at work; those who are at high risk for COVID-19 and can’t go to a packed meeting? Those people are left out by the district and the board. But they aren’t left out by Meek. He is still recording and sharing those meetings.
Unfortunately, Meek has run into a few bumps in the road. He is now unable to live stream the meetings because of a lack of bandwidth in the central office. He records the video in full and uploads it to his page when he gets home from the meeting. This problem could be easily resolved if the district would allow him to access their server, but they haven’t done that yet. This seems odd, considering Meek is providing this service to the public for free when the district should be doing it.
Meek is currently running for a position on the school board. The fact that he has been consistently providing transparency for the public for more than a year makes him an ideal candidate. Meek doesn’t just promise something, he delivers. He has proven he is committed to an open dialogue between board members and the public; he has proven transparency matters to him, and he has shown he more than willing to listen to the view points of others.
We wholeheartedly endorse Brian Meek for school board. We also continue to encourage the sitting board to embrace transparency with the same enthusiasm Meek has. The community wants to be involved and engaged. They want to be informed and they also want to make safe decisions for themselves.
Sometimes the safest decision is to stay home, which makes streaming meetings a logical decision. The board could learn a thing or two from Meek. We have a feeling when he is elected he will be more than willing to lead a change.
The McPherson News-Ledger Editorial Board...
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