Cumberland Seeks to Reach People with Hi-Tech
The Municipality of Cumberland has approved a plan to get its meetings back online.
Like the rest of Nova Scotia, Cumberland County Council used videoconferencing for its meetings during the COVID lockdown. However the online meetings were only allowed by a special provincial declaration during the state of health emergency as the Municipal Act requires all municipalities to hold meetings in person.
Tax payers showed they appreciated watching the meetings online and many have been chasing elected officials to return to the practice.
Cumberland Council agrees and will invest up to 100 thousand dollars to do it right.
The chief administrative officer drafted the plan which will allow all meetings to be broadcast over the internet. Greg Herrett says the Cumberland plan will use a mobile system of cameras, microphones, speakers and monitors to capture the proceedings in the highest quality possible. It will combine Zoom as the meeting platform with a live Facebook feed for the public.
Councillors will gather for an in-person meeting in a room equipped for the Zoom relay to the public. Councillors who are unable to attend the meeting will have the option to join online. Similarly, guests, who often travel fair distances, may also make presentations remotely.
Cumberland will also go an extra step, making the system portable. That would allow for possible meetings on location from other centres. It could be very beneficial for are meetings or public hearings on local issues.
Most of the technical equipment and software is readily available as many municipalities are considering ways to get back online. Cumberland wants tooter the virtual meetings as soon as possible.
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