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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Olympian Editorial Rips the "Reel-to-Reel" Argument Against Taping Bill

Og-blog readers will recall a county official's argument against the taping bill was that recording executive sessions would require "added staff and equipment and creates tape storage problems." Since a digital recorder is the size of a Snickers bar and thousands of hours of executive sessions could be stored on an iPod or computer hard drive, the only way to have "tape storage problems" would be to use reel-to-reel tapes. The idea of using reel-to-reel tapes was (what's the right word?) mocked on og-blog.

The Olympian's editorial similalry mocks the idea that recording executive sessions would create "storage problems." The county official in question is Diane Oberquell. Here is a taste of the editorial:

"In her testimony before the House committee, Oberquell said she is mechanically challenged and she is not sure she could even operate a tape recorder. That speaks volumes.

"But in an interview prior to her public testimony, Commissioner Oberquell offered the lamest excuse of all. She said taping sessions requires added staff members and equipment and creates tape storage problems.

"We recognize that Oberquell has been in public office far too long, but surely she understands that technology has advanced — somewhat — in her 20 years warming the commission seat. With a simple call to a store, Oberquell could find out that a $129 digital voice recorder can record 140 hours of conversation. The recordings then could be downloaded directly onto a computer hard drive and stored forever.

"No extra staff members. No huge expenditure in equipment. No tape storage problems.

"It's time Oberquell and other locally elected officials join the 21st century and recognize that recording executive sessions is something the public wants and expects. It's a matter of accountability."