A proposal that called for a 60-day moratorium on televising City Council meetings until after this spring’s municipal elections was defeated by the council this week.
By a 3-2 vote, council members turned down the motion by Councilman Paul Tsukahara. He contended that televising the meetings on the city’s community access channel would give incumbents running for reelection unfair advantage over challengers in the April 6 election. Councilman Mas Fukai supported Tsukahara’s proposal.
Mayor Donald Dear, who voted against the moratorium, said the proposal amounted to “censorship” because the public would, in essence, be shut off from viewing city business. The good accomplished by televising the meetings, he said, far outweighed any presumed unfairness.
The council terms of Dear, Fukai and Gwen Duffy expire this spring. All three are expected to seek reelection.
Tuesday night marked the first time council meetings were televised live to city residents who subscribe to cable.