Greenfield expands hybrid meetings, access to online recordings

Greenfield City Hall.

Greenfield City Hall. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

DREW HUTCHISON

DREW HUTCHISON

By CHRIS LARABEE

Staff Writer

Published: 03-03-2024 4:01 PM

GREENFIELD — With additional hybrid functionality and more consistent uploading of recordings, the city is hoping to expand residents’ accessibility to local government meetings of numerous boards and commissions.

In an effort to improve government transparency, the city recently announced it has implemented hybrid meeting formats for a slew of boards that have typically relied on in-person meetings only, while also coordinating with Greenfield Community Television (GCTV) to get recordings of those meetings online.

Notable committees that have implemented hybrid meetings this month or plan to implement hybrid formats at their future meetings include, but are not limited to: the Board of Health, the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals. Committees that already meet in a hybrid or remote format, such as the Conservation Commission, Human Rights Commission and Fire Station Building Committee, will continue to have their meetings uploaded to GCTV’s website and YouTube page.

“Everyone in Greenfield deserves an opportunity to participate in local government,” Mayor Ginny Desorgher said in an announcement about the new initiative. “These steps to increase meeting access closely align with my goals of creating a more welcoming and transparent City Hall.”

GCTV Director Drew Hutchison said he was “thrilled” to see this change and thanked the city for its transparency initiatives, adding that the push for meeting accessibility is a great opportunity for residents to continue engaging with local government officials directly at the source.

“I applaud the mayor for making this a priority,” Hutchison said, emphasizing the move coincides with his goal of ensuring GCTV is a community resource. “The value for the community being able to see for themselves what happens with these committees is invaluable.”

As the city undertakes these changes, Communications Director Matt Conway said staff intend to “continue evolving the city’s accessibility” and that opening meeting participation to more people is an “impactful first step in setting the tone for what City Hall is looking to accomplish.”

To access meeting recordings, visit GCTV’s website at gctv.org or its YouTube page at youtube.com/greenfieldctv.

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Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com.