Soon after being sworn in as a Genoa Township trustee, Frank Dantonio said he believed that township trustees’ audio meeting minutes, available streaming online the day after meetings, should be kept as the official approved minutes, replacing printed minutes.
Dantonio said Delaware County commissioners use recordings as their official meeting minutes and, if recordings are good enough for commissioners, it should suffice for Genoa Township.
During a March 3 township trustees’ meeting, former trustee Leo Wilhelm said that the more he thinks about dispensing with printed action-based meeting minutes the less he likes the idea. He said most county commission meetings are brief, and have very little deviation from set agendas.
“Using recorded minutes buries the listener in information,” Wilhelm said. “Sometimes our meetings go on for four and five hours.”
Wilhelm said township residents who do not have time to attend trustee meetings but who want to know if a specific issue was addressed, and when it was addressed during a meeting, should be able to do so without having to search through hours of recordings.
“I think the township should continue with recording meetings, but also continue with summarized written minutes, maybe adding a time stamp at key points in the written minutes so listeners know where to go on the recording if they want to find something,” Wilhelm said.
Wilhelm, adding that written minutes are much easier to refer back to, said in his opinion they provide a better way for residents to follow township issues and trustee discussions and actions.
Wilhelm also noted that often-busy township residents do not know in advance when an important issue will be addressed.
“It’s much easier to get through a meeting agenda when the agenda is laid out,” Wilhelm said. “And you should also have things included on your agendas early enough for residents to know if they want to show up for a meeting.”