Grosse Pointe Farms to start livestreaming council meetings

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published December 7, 2022

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — Starting this month, anyone who wants to watch a Grosse Pointe Farms City Council meeting or work session will be able to do so from anywhere in the world, as long as they have an internet connection.

The city will start livestreaming its council meetings at the next meeting, which will begin at 7 p.m. Dec. 12. Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Derrick Kozicki said in an email interview that a link will be available on the city’s website to the city’s YouTube channel for those who want to watch the livestream.

“The purpose of the livestream is to make the meetings more accessible to those who are unable to attend in-person for whatever reason (travel, health, etc.),” Kozicki said.

The council voted unanimously in favor of a policy regarding recording meetings at its last meeting Nov. 14.

The push for this development came from the  city’s Communications Committee, which is co-chaired by City Council members Neil Sroka and Beth Konrad Wilberding.

Konrad Wilberding said they wanted to make it possible for more residents to watch the council meetings and engage with city government. It’s also an effort to be more transparent, she said.

Officials say there will be signs inside council chambers, alerting meeting attendees that the proceedings are being recorded and broadcast.

Those watching remotely won’t be able to ask questions or make public comments.

“It’s not meant as a two-way exchange,” Konrad Wilberding said. “If you want to make a comment to our council, you have to be there in person.”

Residents and others are always welcome to submit letters to the council if they want to weigh in on an issue, but those letters typically aren’t read aloud during meetings.

“There is no change to the existing practice of not reading letters at the meetings,” Kozicki said. “It is solely at the discretion of each councilmember if they would like to read the letters aloud.”

Council closed sessions — which already aren’t open to the public — also won’t be recorded or broadcast, Konrad Wilberding said. The council can only have a closed session for a handful of specific reasons, such as discussing litigation with the city attorney.

Kozicki said the city is using the Farms Municipal Court’s Polycom equipment and Zoom account to record and broadcast the meetings.

Meetings will be available to watch at a future time on the city’s website. Kozicki said the recorded meetings started with the Nov. 14 meeting. To watch archived meetings, visit the “Government” tab on the city’s home page,, and click on the link for “Agendas and Minutes.”

According to the policy approved by the council, “So long as there is no unreasonable taxpayer expense or technical or staff support demands, recordings posted to the website shall be retained for on-demand viewing for as long as may be practicable.”

At this time, Kozicki said the livestreaming and availability of recorded meetings on the website only applies to council meetings, not committee or commission meetings.