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The City of Chipley is joining other municipalities in posting their City Council meetings live on Facebook.

The March 12 City Council meeting was the first one in City history posted to Facebook as it happened.

The live broadcast is part of other technological upgrades made at the City Council Chambers.

“As you can see, we have a new system here in the City Council Chambers,” City Clerk Sherry Snell said. “We ended up not being able to do the portrait TVs in the corners due to the HDMI cords, the way they have to be connected to the rest of the system.”

There are now a total of five television screens in the Council Chamber: one in the lobby, one in the middle of the City Council desk on the front, below the top; one on each side of the City Council desk up high; one on each side in the back of the chamber. 

The screen in the lobby shows what is live streamed to Facebook and has a corner displaying meeting agenda packet information, while the other four show just the packet information. The lobby screen is intended to still keep people informed of minute-by-minute meeting proceedings if the Chambers are full or they simply want to be in the lobby. 

In other City Council news, Brett Butler was appointed to the vacant Ward 4 seat. Butler previously served in the position and was recommended by Mayor Tracy Andrews, a decision which was unanimously approved by the rest of the City Council.

The Ward 4 seat was vacant since former Councilmember Kristin Martin submitted her resignation around the start of this year, citing it was “in the best interest” of her and her family to do so.

The City Council will also go back to just one regularly scheduled meeting a month instead of a separate workshop and subsequent meeting after Councilmember Cheryl McCall made a motion to consolidate the meetings and cancel the workshops. 

The new meeting schedule will be the second Tuesday at 5 p.m. The prior schedule saw a workshop held the Thursday before that.

The March 13 meeting was held after the previous week’s workshop was canceled.

“I like doing the one meeting,” McCall said. “I personally like it like this.”

Andrews said the March 13 meeting was “pretty lengthy” but the City Council “did pretty good getting through it” since the agenda had consent items, which are generally routine matters passed by the City Council without lengthy discussion.

“I like it like tonight because the public can hear everything that goes on and if we have a workshop and talk about it without the public, then they don’t know what’s going on,” Councilmember Linda Cain said.