Village of Riverwoods

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Live from Riverwoods! It’s the Board of Trustee Meetings!

July/August 2015

By Michael Baumann, Riverwoods Trustee

In the short time I that have been on the Board of Trustees (BOT), there has been one constant for the board meetings - low public attendance. As trustees, we want to make the best informed decisions that we can for the village and often that requires accounting for residents’ opinions and comments. We all lead busy lives so it understandable that attending a BOT meeting may not have the highest priority for your limited time, or your personal travels may not permit attending. A contributing factor to low attendance has also been that residents had little or no access to the meeting materials discussed by the board, so rather than participating in the meeting, residents end up being spectators.

In response to this, we are announcing a pilot program to make BOT meetings more accessible to all residents and accommodate your busy schedules. The village has created a new webpage for BOT meetings. What is different about this webpage is that the BOT meeting agenda and the meeting materials will be available to the public before each meeting. With this webpage, you can review the meeting agenda and download the meeting materials to gain a better understanding of the topics being discussed. If you decide to attend the BOT meetings, you now have the same information as the trustees so you can better understand the discussion and offer your own informed opinion on the issues.

If you can’t attend a BOT meeting in person but still want to participate in the discussion, the new BOT webpage offers live streaming video for each meeting. Now from anywhere you have an internet connection, you can watch the BOT meetings live through a YouTube™ channel. Because the video is live, you also have the opportunity to ask questions and voice your opinions through email during the meeting. If your schedule doesn’t permit you to attend BOT meetings or watch the live video, the video is automatically recorded and becomes available immediately after the BOT meeting has ended. It also means you can review past meetings with one webpage that contains the agenda, meeting materials and video recording of the proceedings.

To access this new webpage enter the following address in your web browser In the upper left corner of the page is a list of dates for BOT meetings. Click on the date for the meeting in question and you will be taken to the webpage for that meeting. The agenda is posted on the meeting page, meeting materials are presented as a list of files that can be viewed online or downloaded (just click on a file name to view the document). To watch the meeting video just click on the video play button. During the meetings, you can email your comments and questions and they will be read to the board.

Please note that the video quality will vary during the meeting because of limitations in the village’s current IT network. This issue will be resolved when the village hall is renovated and the video is transmitted through a wired network connection.

We hope you find this pilot program to be a useful tool to help residents stay informed about village government in a way that adapts to residents’ busy and mobile lifestyles.

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