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North Huron looking at alternate methods of hosting public meetings

·2 min read

NORTH HURON – Public town hall meetings are essential to North Huron council, but the current situation with COVID-19 is making the meetings impossible to do, according to a report from Clerk Carson Lamb.

The report said, “in 2020, and as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, council agreed to temporarily suspend the requirement to hold a minimum of one town hall public meeting per year due to the physical distancing and maximum capacity requirements of COVID-19. As part of this discussion, it was noted that this would be re-evaluated for 2021.”

Lamb requested that council temporarily suspend this year’s public meeting for the same reasons, but council decided to explore alternative methods which would allow some form of communication with the ratepayers.

Staff will look into the options of using the internet and social media while recognizing that not all community members use these tools. Therefore, an alternate option would be necessary to include any of these people in the conversation.

“While the Town Hall Theatre currently allows for North Huron to better accommodate the anticipated groupings of people for council, board, and committee meetings. It is important to note that the township is still encouraging members of the public to view the meetings online,” Lamb said in his report.

“At this time, the current capacity limit for the Town Hall Theatre is 50 patrons and this capacity limit is inclusive of staff and council. It is still essential that North Huron undertakes every precaution possible to keep capacity numbers low,” added Lamb.

Deputy Reeve Trevor Seip said, “we have to get experimental on how we get information from the public, and maybe it won’t work this year, and that’s OK.”

Council hopes to have something in place before 2022 budget talks begin to hear from their ratepayers about this significant subject.

Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times

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