Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What is a Debate

   This post is about Debate/Rational Arguments.
   In a debate speakers must justify their claims.
An argument or debate is not a fight or a quarrel.
Debating/arguing is a creative and productive activity.
   Think not of a shouting match, but of a group of people seeking the best solution to a problem.  It is a creative and productive activity that stimulates critical thinking.
   Although, formal debate can develop critical thinking, its weakness is that it can turn argument into a game of winners and losers rather than a process of cooperative inquiry.
   Argument/debate entails a desire for truth; it aims to find the best solutions to complex problems.
   It will be beneficial to the voters to see and hear all the candidates at the debate on Oct 21.

Written by Andrew Templeton

Monday, September 28, 2015

Videoing vs. Security Cameras

There seems to be some confusion about the videos of the Board Meetings. There are two different recordings at Town Board Meetings. There are security cameras, yes. At the recommendation of the Sheriff’s Office, but they are not used for anything other than security footage of the meetings. Anyone who has ever seen security camera footage knows it would not be suitable for high quality video like the videos of the meetings that are posted online.
The videos posted online are taken using Evelyn’s personal video camera. She does this at her own initiative, and it is not town related. She is not using town equipment, funds, or time to supply the town with the videos. She posts them on her own YouTube channel and it is has nothing to do with the town website. And she started videoing the meetings before the security cameras were even installed. Even before Warren County started videoing their meetings. The security cameras and the video of meetings provided to the public are two different things entirely.
The Board cannot stop anyone from videotaping their meetings. News crews, cable TV, or people with cell phones or tablets could all videotape meetings. There was a court case about it and in 1994 the court ruled that videotaping could not be banned at public meetings just because the board didn’t want to be recorded. A lot of opinions from the Committee on Open Government also talk about videotaping being permitted at meetings, especially now that the cameras are so small they can record video without disruption.
Bottom line, Evelyn spends her time and effort to give us better access to our government, and that has nothing to do with the security cameras.
Court Case: Mtr. of Peloquin v. Arsenault, 162 Misc. 2d 306 - NY: Supreme Court, Franklin 1994

Written by Andrew Templeton