La Veta emergency meeting a shake-down cruise for future online meetings

by Mark Craddock

 

LA VETA — It is probably appropriate that there was only one item on the agenda at Tuesday’s La Veta Town Board special meeting – an extension of the mayor’s declaration of emergency because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the wake of statewide orders prohibiting public gatherings, the meeting was the first that the board attempted remotely via the online platform GoToMeeting. It was a shake-down cruise, of sorts, for things to come.

The board voted unanimously to continue the mayor’s emergency declaration “through the course of the event.”

At the town board’s March 24 meeting, Brgoch made the emergency declaration.

So far, he said, its only impact beyond reinforcing the state’s and local health department’s orders, has been in drafting a policy for town staff.

But under state law, the mayor’s declaration can only last seven days, unless approved for a longer period by the full board. An emergency meeting was required to vote on the matter before its expiration.

By and large, the cyber-meeting went off without a hitch.

Trustee Shane Clouse could not get his video feed to work, but his microphone and speaker were working fine. Likewise, Trustee Mickey Schmidt attended the meeting without a video feed.

“I ordered a web cam but it hasn’t come yet,” Schmidt said. “Hopefully, it’s not coming from China.”

Trustee Connie Grimm telephoned in to the proceeding.

To help ensure public access to the meeting, Town Clerk Laurie Erwin inserted login instructions on top of the agenda, posted on the town’s website.

At the end of the brief meeting, Mayor Doug Brgoch thanked the members for contending with the technology to keep their little slice of democracy going.

“This was a nice little test case for a much bigger meeting with a much bigger agenda next week,” he said.

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