Cortez council considers buying search software for agendas

The Journal (Cortez): At a workshop on Tuesday, the Cortez City Council discussed purchasing new software designed to make meeting minutes and agendas more accessible to the public.

City Manager Shane Hale said he has been researching Open Media Foundation, a Colorado-based nonprofit that creates software to make city meeting records searchable by topic. Open Media’s executive director, Tony Shawcross, spoke to the council through video conference call about how the software works and how it’s been used by other town governments. It would cost about $3,000 per year, but Shawcross said Open Media usually provides matching grants to smaller governments.

“The goal is to help even small governments reach constituents where they are, on their smartphones, on their tablets,” he said.

Shawcross said Open Media’s software would make it possible for town residents to search all the agendas and minutes on the city website that deal with a particular topic, such as recreational marijuana or proposed medians on Main Street. Through a partnership with YouTube, the company has also made it possible on some government websites for viewers to jump straight to the section of a meeting’s video recording that deals with the topic.

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