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LOS ANGELES COUNTY : Molina Urges Broadcasts of Supervisors’ Meetings

Low ratings and high production costs are hardly music to any producer’s ears. But those sour notes were sounded Tuesday as the Board of Supervisors considered spending up to $500,000 a year to televise its meetings, despite estimates of low public interest.

Supervisor Gloria Molina proposed the cable TV broadcast, noting that Congress, the state Legislature and the Los Angeles City Council already televise their hearings. “It allows for more dialogue and participation with the electorate,” she said.

Other supervisors, however, said they were reluctant to spend the money when the cash-strapped county is cutting services, including libraries. They requested a more detailed report. “If people aren’t interested, I don’t see why we should be spending $500,000 to push it on them,” Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke said.

Molina said the cost of air time and paying a company to videotape the meetings would come out of a communications fund that is supported by fees from cable companies serving unincorporated portions of the county.

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The fund is used for such programs as video arraignments of jail inmates.


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