What’s the frequency, Manteo? Board OKs televising meetings

By on September 5, 2018

More than 50 people were at Wednesday’s meeting. (Russ Lay)

The Town of Manteo will no longer be the lone holdout in Dare County as the Board of Commissioners agreed Wednesday to the demands of residents to begin showing their meetings on local cable television.

A near-capacity crowd of more than 50 people gathered in the intimate Town Hall meeting  room, with a dozen speaking in favor during the public comment session.

The speakers ranged from former Manteo mayors, commissioners, the former chair and current members of the Planning Board, to prominent local businessowners, senior citizens and leaders of the African-American community.

Former state transportation board member Malcolm Fearing presented a petition with over 500 signatures in support, and highlighted the diversity of those who wanted to see proceedings televised.

Mayor Bobby Owens Jr., who supports the telecasts, made a motion to broadcast not only the commissioners meetings, but also the Planning Board, Parks Committee and Architectural Review Committee meetings. The motion passed unanimously.

A similar move to televise meetings failed in early March. Opponents to the broadcasts have said some would be less open to speaking their minds during meetings, or that it would chip away at the small-town atmosphere of Manteo.

No time frame for when the broadcasts would begin was set, and no budget for equipment and personnel to produce the broadcasts was established at Wednesday’s meeting. Estimates have been it would cost up to $6,000 annually.

Nags Head offers a live stream of Board of Commissioners meetings on its website. The other towns and Dare County provide video shortly after meetings on their websites, on YouTube or on the county’s CURRENTtv.

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John Adams

One correction: the Mayor did not make the motion. He cannot initiate actions, nor vote, except in case of a tie.


$6,000 annually? That’s a politician’s estimate for sure. Just ask any millennial how do set this up and they’ll tell you that it doesn’t cost anything. Use an existing laptop and free YouTube account.