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Among the flourishes in the "hi-def" kit will be new microphones with a much better pickup range. Note to commissioners: Those private "asides" may now be clear as a bell to your viewers. Nine of the new microphones will be on the commissioners' side of the dais, and four more will be used by staff and the public during testimony and public comment. While there are still a few wrinkles to iron out, the Auditor and Clerk's Office staff hopes the new gear will allow commissioner votes to be shown on-screen. There are times now when it is almost impossible to sort out how commissioners are voting. By law, they are not allowed to abstain unless they have a financial interest in the outcome of a particu- lar vote. For now, the dais is piled high with cardboard boxes and reels of wire. Mounds of old cables are in the walkways. When all this is over, the only beneficiaries of the new high-tech equipment will be the people watching the meeting the old-fashioned way, from a seat in the audience. The images on the monitors in the chambers will be the only public ones to show the new, razor-sharp imagery. Maybe someday the cable company will upgrade, too. % Piles of antiquated analog gear are heaped on tables, ready for some high-tech recycling. This stuff does not go to the landfill. Photo by Stan Zimmerman Sarasota News Leader February 28, 2014 Page 69

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