The City of High Point has joined the list of local governments that are holding meetings but not letting the public attend due to health concerns from the coronavirus pandemic.
On Wednesday, April 1, High Point government posted on its Facebook page the news that the public would not be allowed at the city’s Finance Committee meeting this week or at the City Council meeting next week.
And, of course, this was no April Fool’s joke. Anyone in Guilford County who likes to follow local governments in person now knows that the state’s open meetings laws have become one casualty of the virus.
“As part of the City of High Point’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts,” the social media post stated, “in-person public attendance will not be allowed at the Finance Committee meeting tomorrow at 4 p.m. or the City Council Meeting on Monday, April 6 at 5:30 p.m.”
Interested citizens will still be able to watch the proceedings – albeit not in person – since both meetings will be live streamed at http://www.youtube.com/cityofhighpointgov.
This week, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners canceled a planned Thursday, April 2 meeting, while the Summerfield Town Council went ahead with a Tuesday, March 31 meeting with no audience members allowed. The Greensboro City Council also held a short March 31 meeting that was closed to the public –however, members of the media were allowed to attend that meeting.
The Guilford County Board of Commissioners did hold a meeting in mid-March that didn’t allow reporters or the general public in. The board may hold a mid-April meeting with no members of the public present. The commissioners are considering whether or not to let members of the media attend future meetings while the pandemic is ongoing.