Council members discussed during a Sept. 7 workshop some potential fixes and upgrades to the chambers, including maintenance on audio and visual equipment and architecture. The chambers were built in 2006 along with the rest of the municipal center, according to Frisco Director of Communications Dana Baird. The latest upgrades were made in 2014.
Baird said current issues include one of the four cameras in the chambers being inoperable, inconsistent lighting and microphone performance, an inoperable voting system and weakened presentation screens. In addition, Baird said the dais directly in front of where council members sit is oversized.
A team of city staff from various departments collaborated and toured council chambers in Allen, Plano, Denton, Richardson, Lewisville and Wylie.
“Because of all these challenges, we went ahead and got a team together that could look at this holistically so we could do everything,” Baird said. “We thought that would be the best way to get this taken care of.”
The city is considering providing each council member with an additional computer monitor, which would allow them to have one dedicated for supporting agenda documents and one dedicated to voting on agenda items. Upgrades to voice-activated personal mics for council members could also include a mute button.
Frisco is considering hiring an A/V technician for the renovations and would fund the work using money earmarked for public broadcasting upgrades.
Baird told council members that the city hopes to implement the new system by spring of next year.