FairTV offers years of town meetings at library
FAIRFIELD — Want to know exactly what happened at that Board of Education meeting back in 2010?
Now you won’t have to rely on just your memory, news clippings or meeting minutes. According to FairTV’s program manager, Gerry Speno, the last eight years of broadcasts are available at the Fairfield Public Library.
Speno and FairTV Commission Chairman Stuart Strelzer recently gave a report on the public access programming provided to the Board of Selectmen. Meetings no longer available on demand through the FairTV website can be watched on the library’s computers, Speno said.
“It’s a community channel,” Speno said.
“I think FairTV has become part of the culture of our town,” First Selectman Mike Tetreau said. “It’s a tremendous resource for our town and our democracy, to see our elected officials in action.
FairTV broadcasts certain meetings, such as the selectmen, the Board of Finance and the Board of Education, live via public access channels — channels 78 and 79 on Cablevision. Those meetings can also be live-streamed via computer or mobile device. Any meetings not broadcast live can be watched — usually by the next afternoon — on demand on a computer. During the daytime, when there are no live meetings, recorded meetings are aired on the television.
FairTV brings “gavel-to-gavel, regularly scheduled meetings, town events, school events,” Strelzer said.
Selectman Kevin Kiley was curious to know the number of FairTV viewers, but Speno said that is not information they are privy to.
“Cablevision will never tell us our broadcast reach,” Speno said, “however, with (video on demand) we get an idea.” Often, he said, people that view a meeting on demand watched it live, but watch again to follow up on an issue. Speno said they can look at the number of hits a recorded meeting receives. For example, when the school board was discussing redistricting, the on-demand video got about 1,700 hits, “which is amazing,” Speno said.
Speno said under the system used by Nielsen, one household represents 1,000 households. “I’m not Nielsen,” Speno said. “I would say for everyone we know about, there’s probably a number of about 50 attached to that.”
In addition to meetings, town and school events are broadcast on FairTV, like the Memorial Day parade, and the Fourth of July fireworks.