I as a private citizen was talked about by government
officials when they thought their camera was no longer
running, I want to know what they said about me. All I did was
go to a council meeting. I want to see the video"
Loveland resident who asks to not be identified.
"My wife attended the Loveland City Council meeting the other night and spoke out against the proposal to locate a gun range near the local grade school. Once the meeting finished, she returned home and brought up the live streaming video of the council meeting on the internet. The video should be public record. Why would they not release it to Loveland Magazine?" - Concerned citizen
"I believe if anything sinister happens to any one exercising their first amendment rights in vocalizing their concerns, all activities that could be construed as threatening should be preserved for potential future examination. They are of course entitled to their opinions but it is within Loveland residents rights to know what was broadcast should it influence any potential incendiary counter actions by opposing forces. If they did in fact leave the video recording, than any destruction of any and all material should be viewed with great suspicion and may be in violation of the law as it is a public document." - An attendee who spoke during Council's open Forum against the shooting range.
"I'm curious, what time did the meeting end? Given that I stepped out
early, how would I go about getting the video to review? Can you
get your hands on an "unedited" version first thing in the morning?" - Resident who spoke at the council meeting.
Loveland, Ohio - Loveland Magazine received
confirmation from numerous sources over the last several days that
after the city council meeting of January 8, and most of the
public had gone home, the City Web Site continued to broadcast
live footage from the council room at City Hall.
The council room earlier in the evening was packed, was standing room only, even spilling into the hallways with citizens expressing concern about a proposed shooting range near the Loveland Elementary and Primary school campus. No one spoke in favor of the shooting range.
According to our sources, several council members, a former council member, and city staff were shown on the internet broadcast. They discussed the meeting, the individuals who spoke at the podium opposed to the shooting range, and other private citizens who were in the audience.
Early Wednesday morning, January 9, Loveland Magazine made a public records request, pursuant to the Ohio Public Records Act, for the video, and a that the full recording be provided.
The same public records request was made to SIRE Technologies, Inc., the Utah based company that contracts with the City to provide the streaming video broadcast. SIRE Technologies stores the video feed on their servers according to their spokesperson, Larry Thorpe. Loveland Magazine made a written and a phone conversation request to SIRE that the video files be preserved. Thorpe said the video files are stored on their servers.
Clerk of Council, Misty Chelshire told Loveland Magazine on
Wednesday morning that she knew the video was being transmitted
over the internet. She explained that a software problem prevented
her from stopping the broadcast that is controlled from her seat
at the council table.
The City, through their attorney, Joseph Braun, replied on Friday that they will not comply with the record request. SIRE has also refused to release the video and has not responded to the request to preserve the footage. SIRE denied having access to the video files stored on their servers.
A source told Loveland Magazine that during the video it was suggested that one citizen that spoke at the meeting should have been arrested, and that there was also a speculative conversation about whether or not a bullet could escape the proposed shooting range and reach a nearby local business owned by another person who attended the meeting. A source also said that one conversation was about calculating how many residents who spoke against the shooting range actually lived in Loveland versus township residents, and that the non-residents’ opinions could be disregarded.
City Attorney Joseph Braun said in an e-mail response:
"In response to your request, the City will produce to you copies of the recording of the video and audio broadcast of the council meeting which took place on January 8, 2013. The remaining items requested do not constitute proper requests for public records as they do not serve to document the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations or other activities of the City. Further, we believe the production of any recordings of third parties other than those being made available to you would be a violation of state and federal law."
Calls and e-mails to Loveland Magazine, have encourage digging deeper into what is on the video.
Editor's Note: What will Loveland Magazine do with the video if it is provided? We do not yet know, but the public can be assured that if they were the subject of the conversations, Loveland Magazine will not publish their names or reveal their identify.