The Common Council Tuesday night voted unanimously to hire Osama Mustafa to be the city’s videographer for a combined $31,500 for a nine month period from April 1 to Dec. 31.
The Common Council in December voted to solicit Requests for Proposals for providing the city with professional videography services. Mustafa responded to the RFP process, and the council chose his proposal.
The contract requires Mustafa to produce a minimum of six videos per month to be used on the city’s website and Facebook page, and wherever else the city’s “marketing board” deems appropriate.
Six potential subject areas for the videos spelled out in the contract include: Progress of Gloversville’s $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative, city projects, city businesses/grand openings, city meetings, and city events.
During the public comment period for several public hearings held at the beginning of Tuesday night’s meeting former Gloversville Planning Board Chairman Rennie Sanges questioned the expense of hiring Mustafa.
“I’m not saying it is or it isn’t worth it, but I just want the council to consider [the cost],” Sanges said after the meeting.
Before the council voted on the contract 2nd Ward Councilman Arthur Simonds said he believes it is very important for the city to produce professional quality videos as part of its communications strategy for 2022 and for the DRI process.
“I’d like to say how important that is at this time,” Simonds said. “To have somebody, that we’re paying, to give the public the information they need around these projects for the DRI. It’s hard to keep up with them all, but if we have somebody who is able to communicate that with the public I think it will go a long way toward answering the questions people have.”
“And it’s not just the DRI,” Mayor Vince DeSantis said. “There are so many other things that we are doing right now that are very positive, and the idea is to give our city a positive image is very important.”
Sixth Ward Councilman Wrandy Siarkowski said he believes having Mustafa produce videos showcasing the locations of potential DRI projects will help the public to better understand what’s at stake.
“As we video the places we are discussing, people will get a better idea of what they’re seeing, and what we’re discussing,” Siarkowski said.
Third Ward Councilwoman Betsy Batchelor said she believes another potential use of the videographer will be producing videos that can explain what the city is doing to deal with the longstanding problem of its many brownfields, which are properties with contaminated soil that needs to be remediated before they can be redeveloped.
This is the second time in the past three years that Gloversville has hired Mustafa to be its professional videographer.
The council first hired Mustafa on April 23, 2019, authorizing him to purchase $2,220 worth of videography equipment and to enter a contract through Oct. 23, 2019 at a rate of $25 per hour, not to exceed 120 hours per month. Later that year on May 10, 2019 Gloversville entered into a 90-day contract with Mustafa to provide videography services at a flat rate of $3,000 per month on a full-time basis, and then in August 2019 extended that contract until the end of the year.
The city discontinued the practice of hiring Mustafa in 2020 and during the budget constraints brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, but he continued providing some videographer services to the city without compensation.
The new 2022 contract approved Tuesday night states the city will pay Mustafa $850 per month to produce a livestreaming video of the Common Council’s twice monthly meetings and $2,650 per month to produce four pre-recorded and edited marketing videos.
He is required to submit an invoice each month to city Commissioner of Finance Tammie Weiterschan.
Videos produced by Mustafa must also be submitted to the city’s marketing board for review before being released to the public.