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  • Success Story
  • Pinal County, AZ

Building Trust and Transparency Through Public Meeting Streaming

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With a dedication to transparency and cost savings the Pinal County Board of Supervisors use live video streaming to keep their residents informed. Thanks to the services provided through the govMeetings Swagit tool, Pinal County staff save time, budget, and staff resources while meeting and exceeding resident demands.

“Livestreaming and recording our meetings is critical for local government transparency, and it's reassuring to know that Swagit is a reliable partner who prioritizes this. When I walk into the hearing room and see the cameras turned on and ready for our meetings, it gives me a great sense of satisfaction.”
Natasha Kennedy, MMC, MMDP, Clerk of the Board; Pinal County Board of Supervisors

Project Metrics

  • $100K estimated savings by outsourcing video production costs
  • Increased transparency in reporting of minutes
  • 24hrs Meeting video for minute’s inspection posted within 24 hours of adjournment
  • Flexible resources for emergency meetings
Must have Granicus Solutions

Meeting the Demands of a Growing Population

While population growth is good for any community, sometimes the demands of that growth can put a strain on existing resources, requiring changes in both perspective and tools. For that reason, the benefits of growth often come with the cost (in both time and money) of meeting those new demands.

For Pinal County, AZ, growth has come in spurts, including a recognition in 2010 as the Second Fastest Growing County in the U.S. by CNN after the population almost doubled in that year’s Census. While growth has continued in the county at a more moderate rate in the last decade, the need to provide clear, transparent information to residents continues to drive the work of the County Board of Supervisors.

“As the person responsible for overseeing our board meetings, it’s crucial for me to ensure that the meetings are run properly and for our team to minimize any errors during our meetings,” said Natasha Kennedy, Clerk of the Board for the Pinal County Board of Supervisors.

Dealing with mandatory statutes that require public meeting minutes and/or recordings to be made available to the public for inspection within three working days after meeting adjournment puts a demand on staff to turn videos quickly and efficiently into useable digital documents. Meanwhile, the fluctuations of government, and the chances of unforeseen emergencies that prompt special meetings, can leave staff scrambling to meet production needs within their departments.


A Dedicated Partner for Success

Before joining her role in Pinal County, Kennedy served as a Deputy Clerk in DeKalb County, Georgia, where board meeting live streaming and records were handled by internal staff. But when she arrived in Pinal, she discovered that the Board was using the Swagit service, now part of Granicus’ govMeetings product.

“Serving previously in a local government that performed all these duties in house, and knowing and seeing the manpower and hours that go into the livestreaming and recording of board meetings, I really came to appreciate the system we have here at Pinal County,” she said.

Working with the Swagit team as an outside partner not only provides expertise in the technical aspects of producing a high-quality live video stream for public meetings, but also makes it easier to meet mandates for public reporting. Kennedy mentioned that a compliance statute that sets a mandatory public inspection date for meeting minutes is easily met thanks to Swagit meeting recordings.

“It’s mandatory that we make those available to the public within three working days after the meeting,” she said. “Swagit provides access to our meeting recordings within 24 hours after adjournment. This helps ensure our community is promptly informed of our board actions.”

Knowing the importance of increased transparency to their community, Pinal upgraded their Swagit equipment and resources in 2018 to make sure that the highest-quality services were being provided to residents.

“As a viewer of live streaming and recorded board meetings, I am impressed by the level of effort and resources that Swagit puts into this solution,” Kennedy said. “It’s clear that if this was a process done in-house at Pinal County, a lot of manpower and hours would need to be dedicated to ensuring a seamless experience for our community. I appreciate the efficient and effective system we have in place with Swagit.”


A Partnership That Saves Time and Money

In a time where governments are frequently asked to innovate solutions with reduced budgets, Kennedy said the partnership with Swagit has not only allowed Pinal County to meet the needs of providing transparent public meetings to the community in a timely manner but also saved potential costs for the county.

“Based on our current level of service and my previous employer in-house processes for these services, I would suggest that a minimum of two full-time staff members would be necessary,” she said. “If I factor in the amount of money that it is going to take in order to staff full time, benefits, and all that comes along with a physical person being employed to oversee this process as opposed to outsourcing it, and letting the experts handle it? It’s at least $100,000.”

The continued success of the Swagit tool and the expertise provided in the services also extends to increased flexibility in times of crisis. In the world of local government where, as Kennedy said “unexpected events can happen at any time,” being able to provide services at a moment’s notice is critical.

“Board meetings have been organized with only 24 hours’ notice,” she said. “Swagit have been accommodating every time. If we were doing these things in house? I could not imagine the workload and the amount of people that would have to stop doing their daily normal things in order to accommodate a special situation.”

For Kennedy and Pinal County, Swagit has become a pillar in their efforts to provide the best access to public meetings for residents.