The Burbank City Council will consider tonight whether meetings of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority should be videotaped and later broadcast over cable television.
Frustrated by repeated attempts to persuade the nine-member airport board to switch its meetings from mornings to evenings, council members have said they would like to have the authority's meetings broadcast for the benefit of citizens who cannot attend.
But whether the authority will permit taping of its meetings is in doubt. And at least two council members differ on which agency should foot the bill.
"I think we should pay for it and try it out for a month to see if there really is a demand for this," said Councilman Tim Murphy.
However, Councilman Michael Hastings said the authority, which oversees the operation of Burbank Airport, should pay for the broadcasts. "This would show good will towards the community, since they refused to change the time of the meetings," he said. "We are just offering the vehicle to them to communicate what's going on."
City officials said the meetings could be taped with stationary cameras and then later fed from a control room in Burbank City Hall to the Sammons Communications cable system. The meetings then could be broadcast over the public access channel.
The cost for the taping could be as high as $33,684 a year, including equipment and staff, city officials said.
Sammons provides live weekly broadcasts of Burbank City Council meetings and Planning Board meetings.
Even if Burbank offers to foot the bill, it is questionable whether the authority would authorize the videotaping of its meetings. Some authority members already have opposed Burbank's plan, saying that taping of the meetings would encourage more interruptions by gadflies who regularly attend and berate board members at length.
Robert Garcin, authority president, said an offer by the city to pay for the tapings would not change his mind. "I'm not impressed with the whole idea of taping, no matter who pays for it, and I certainly wouldn't spend money for something I'm unimpressed with," he said.
The authority meets at 9 a.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month. The airport board earlier this month rejected a request by the City Council to hold its regularly scheduled meetings at night for the convenience of the public. It was the third such rejection in four years.