The Guilford County Board of Commissioners, on the eve of their first Jan. 6, 2022 meeting, announced a last-minute change.
Rather than be held in the commissioners meeting room in the Old Guilford County Court House, the meeting will be held virtually and participation will be online rather than in person.
The statement put out by the county less than 24 hours before the meeting start time states that the Board of Commissioners is “committed to providing an open and transparent public process during the COVID-19 pandemic,” and adds, “To ensure the safety of our community and staff, the next regular meeting of the Board scheduled for Thursday, January 6, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Chambers will be MOVED TO VIRTUAL ONLY.”
Due to the change to an entirely virtual meeting – and state statutes regarding that shift – two public hearings that were scheduled for the meeting will be moved to another meeting later this month.
State statues written before the COVID-19 pandemic require the Board of Commissioners to provide 48 hours’ notice of a change of location for a meeting – though one can argue that this is more an elimination of a location than a change of venue. This last minute change shows how fast things are now moving in county government in the wake of a surge in COVID-19 cases.
People can still comment during the “Speakers from the Floor” portion at the start of the meeting by contacting Guilford County Deputy Clerk to Board Jessica Wolf at email@example.com no later than 4:30 p.m. on January 6.
Those three-minute speaking slots will be handed out on a “first-come, first-served basis” for a maximum of 10 speakers.
There might be a lot more people than that who wish to speak to the board given the current controversy of the recent mask mandate implemented by Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Skip Alston.
Before the meeting was changed, some commissioners were asking: If the county is in such dire COVID-19 condition that it need a new mask mandate, why was the commissioners meeting being held in-person with no special restrictions. This at least answers that question.
People may watch and/or listen to the meeting by using – what else? – Zoom and going to https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85826912539. (They should complete the webinar registration, click the “Join Webinar” button.)
Those interested in what their local county government is doing can also listen to the meeting on their phones by calling 1-929-205-6099 and using Webinar ID 858 2691 2539.
The meeting can also be viewed by going to the Guilford County Meetings and Minutes website at https://guilford.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx and clicking on the video link for the January 6 meeting.
The meeting will also be streamed live at Guilford County’s Facebook page.
As usual, the live broadcast of the meeting will be broadcast on Greensboro Television Network (GTN), available on Spectrum Channel 13, NorthState Channel 31 and AT&T U-verse channel 99.