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ELCAT launches channel dedicated to town government

Date: 8/24/2009

By Courtney Llewellyn

Reminder Assistant Editor

EAST LONGMEADOW - For the news junkies who are curious about the work the town's elected boards are doing, ELCAT has an important announcement last week it launched its second public access channel, Channel 19.

"Channel 19 is designated a government access channel," Don Maki, ELCAT Director, explained. "By mid-September, all meetings of elected boards will be broadcast there."

Voters approved an Annual Town Meeting warrant article earlier this year that requested the meetings of the six elected boards in town the Board of Selectmen, the School Committee, the Planning Board, the Board of Assessors, the Board of Public Works and the Library Trustees be recorded and shown on public access.

"I think this is a really good venue to showcase these meetings," Jack Villamaino, chair of the Board of the Selectmen, stated.

Maki said the meetings, which are currently broadcast on Channel 5, will gradually be moved to Channel 19 by the end of September. This will make more space for community programming on Channel 5, for things like high school sports, school events, concerts and events at the Norcross House, the library and the senior center.

Meetings from the six boards will most likely be shown on a daily basis and until a new meeting of a particular board takes place, Maki explained.

He added that he might fill out the schedule on Channel 19 with programs provided by the state government.

East Longmeadow has three public access channels available. Maki hopes to launch the third, which is designated as an educational channel, later this year.

Two separate schedules for ELCAT programming will be available this week on, under Special Sections.