Traffic, parking and Internet accessible meetings discussed | News, Sports, Jobs - The Herald Star

Warren Scott SAFE CROSSING DESIRED — On Monday, 2nd Ward Councilman Charles McCoy suggested measures to improve safety for pedestrians crossing between two sets of city steps linking the 900 blocks of Clifton and Neville streets.

FOLLANSBEE — Traffic and parking issues and a proposal to enable residents to view meetings through the Internet were among the items discussed at Monday’s Follansbee Council meeting.

In recent months, 3rd Ward Nick Cekinovich suggested live streaming council’s meetings or recording them and posting them soon after so residents could view them on their computers.

Cekinovich told council the meetings could be live streamed through a city-created YouTube channel and an archive for them created for public record or council could meet through a videoconferencing platform that could be streamed live or recorded for later posting.

He said he favors the first option, having noted earlier that anyone with Internet access can view YouTube.

While noting he won’t have a vote in the matter, City Clerk David Kurcina said he has reservations about posting the meetings online.

Kurcina said the mention of a resident’s name could be construed as defamatory.

“I don’t know what kind of liability it would be. You have to watch what you say,” he said, adding he’s also concerned someone could alter images or audio from the recordings, through a technique often called ‘deep fake,’ to mislead people.

Kurcina said setting up the equipment needed to film or stream the meetings could be time-consuming and if a technical problem prevented it from happening, some would accuse city officials of attempting to conceal city business.

He also questioned whether the prospect of appearing online would deter some residents from approaching council with a complaint or request.

Councilman at large John Casinelli suggested students in the television news crew at Brooke High School could be recruited to record the meetings.

Fourth Ward Councilwoman Alexis Russel said more government meetings are likely to be posted in the future, particularly if COVID-19 deters people from gathering together.

“It’s the 21st Century. Pretty soon, everybody’s going to do it,” she said.

Mayor David Velegol Jr. said he’s not opposed to it but cautioned council members and city members would need to exercise caution when speaking or they could be accused of being libelous.

Also on Monday, 2nd Ward Councilman Charles McCoy asked council to consider marking areas of Clifton, Neville and Jefferson streets where pedestrians frequently cross.

McCoy said drivers often speed through the areas, endangering the walkers. He has suggested street markings and signs in an effort to protect them.

McCoy said he also will discuss the problem with City Police Chief Larry Rea.

A proposed ordinance prohibiting large trucks, recreational vehicles and trailers from being parked on city streets for extended periods also was discussed.

Fifth Ward Councilwoman Wendy DeAngelis suggested it, saying she’s received complaints of them hindering access for automobiles.

Deputy Police Chief Dan Casto said Follansbee has an ordinance addressing tractor trailers and other cities have ordinances for the other vehicles that could be amended and adopted to address the complaint.

Casto said often the vehicles are permitted on streets while being unloaded or cleaned.

In related business, Velegol said officials with the state Division of Highways are slated this month to study the timing of traffic signals along state Route 2.

City officials have received complaints of drivers having difficulty in entering the highway from side streets.

And City Manager Jack McIntosh said state highway officials are working out right of way issues affecting the planned replacement of electrical conduit for streetlights along Route 2 between Allegheny Street and Ohio Street.

Plans call for other streetlights to be replaced in the future.

Also on Monday, it was announced trick or treat hours for the city will be from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 30.

City officials also made plans to participate collectively in the Trunk or Treat event being held by Lyle’s Auto, with support from other businesses, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 29.

(Scott can be contacted at wscott@heraldstaronline.com.)

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