On the Record with Bonner Gaylord

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CORRECTION APPENDED: The original story stated the committee meeting was on Thursday. It was actually on Tuesday.

The Raleigh City Council’s new Technology and Communications Committee met for the first time Tuesday evening. Earlier in the day, we spoke with Committee Chair Bonner Gaylord.

Here is a transcription of our video interview:

Hi.  I’m Jennifer Wig with the Raleigh Public Record. Welcome to On the Record, a video series in which we interview people in the news. Today I’m joined by Bonner Gaylord, a city councilor, and he’s going to talk to us about the new technology committee.

RPR: Bonner, when are you guys going to meet?
BG: Well we meet for our first technology committee meeting tonight at 5 o’clock, here at the council chambers and I’m looking forward to having our first meeting and getting our legs under us and beginning to establish this new committee. It’s going to discuss all the issues that come forth in the city of Raleigh that have to do with technology or communications.

RPR: Well that was my next question: What will you discuss exactly – technology and communication – can you give me some examples?
BG: Well obviously the public affairs department generally handles most of the communications for the city of Raleigh and the IT department handles most of the technology issues. But each individual department has their own technology or communications related issues that they face. So we’re hoping to bring together all departments for the city and talk about anything that has to do with technology or communications and bring them together to get to the best resolution and resolutions that can apply across all departments for efficiency.

RPR: So why is it so important that this committee be formed?
BG: Well we all are seeing the changes in technology, communications, social media and all the types of the types new media, they’re changing the way we perceive our world. And this provides new opportunities for the city to reach out to citizens and receive input from citizens, communication and technology, in a way that is different than before. In order to continue to move this forward as a city, we want to make sure to be able to have a bright light on that as a group.

RPR: Given the presence technology has in our lives, isn’t it a little too late — not too late — but late in coming to have this committee?
BG: It is. It’s been something that we’ve looked at in other committees, but not as deeply, but I think having a separate committee is absolutely an appropriate time now to bring that tout. I’d have loved to have this committee in place two years ago, certainly, but it’s a wonderful time to do it and I’m very thankful to the mayor for creating this committee.

RPR: So are you guys nominated or do you volunteer for committees?
BG: We are nominated by the mayor. The mayor appoints the committees and then the committees are run. I’m chair of the technology and communications committee and then also on the comprehensive planning committee.

RPR: And why were you chosen for this one, do you think?
BG: I love technology and communications and new media. It’s a genuine personal passion of mine and I think I was chosen for that reason.

RPR: Speaking of all that, you’re heavily involved in City Camp. Do you have any news to impart along those lines?
BG: Well we have a planning meeting Thursday night and so anybody who is interested in coming look up City Camp on Facebook or citycampral.org and learn more about how to get involved.

RPR: Thank you very much, Councilor, for this edition of On the Record.

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