Moline pushes for transparency in 2020 after previous staff had different priorities

A new $50,000 video recording system to record city council meetings is what some cities have done for decades. But Moline is starting now to boost transparency.

MOLINE, Illinois – On Monday, people who live in Moline can watch the city council meeting live from their home for the first time.

Recording city council meetings for the public to see is what cities like Rock Island and Bettendorf have done for decades, but Moline decided to implement them this year.

“Previous administration it was a goal and they just weren’t responding to it,” says Sonia Berg, City of Moline Alderman-at-Large.

City Council members say it boils down to the two previous city administrations.  To them, transparency and video recording wasn’t a priority.

“We’re glad it’s finally here,” says Berg. “Like I said if we could have done this three years ago it would have been done three years ago.”

With a new interim city administrator and new finance director, the new $50,000 cameras make transparency a priority.

“None of us on city council are micro-managers,” Berg says. “There’s just priorities and we expect staff will get stuff done that we ask.”

In 2019, the City of Moline lost several city staff members.  Berg says this new implementation is not because of last year’s position vacancies, but to keep citizens in the loop.

“We don’t have a lot of residents come down to the city council meetings,” Berg admits. “This is going to be great for them to stay at home and view what’s happening at the city.”

Council meeting videos will be posted on the city’s website, Facebook page, and it will run on the city’s Mediacom channel.

The city has also partnered with LiveStories to clearly communicate how Moline’s tax dollars are being invested.