City Council livestream

Lancaster director of administrative services Patrick Hopkins, right, speaks to City Council in this screen capture of a council meeting livestreamed on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. 

Lancaster is now livestreaming City Council meetings.

The initiative kicked off with Mayor Danene Sorace's State of the City address Jan. 22 and the council meeting that followed, city communications and marketing manager Amber Strazzo said.

Going forward, the plan is to livestream all of council's meetings, including committee meetings. Strazzo had previously livestreamed some city meetings and special events, but the city had not committed to a regular schedule.

The livestreams appear on the city's YouTube channel and the videos are archived there afterward. Links are posted beforehand on the city's Facebook page, Strazzo said.

Other board, commission and authority meetings could be added eventually, "but we have to work out logistics first," she said.

"I think it's a tremendous positive," council President James Reichenbach said. "Giving more people access to their government is a great thing."

To provide the service, the administration recently bought a camera and related equipment, costing around $2,800, Strazzo said.

The change frees up city resident and former independent mayoral candidate Tony Dastra, who on his own initiative began livestreaming City Council in February 2017.

"It has been worth it, but it has been difficult," Dastra said. "I'm relieved to see the city put forward the effort."

Dastra has livestreamed other local public meetings on his See-Thru City page on Facebook, but says he is restructuring and has no plans to continue at the moment.