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Tech issue scuttles county meeting, it’s reset for May 11

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

     Practice did not make perfect as the Columbus County Commissioners’ first attempt at a virtual meeting, its members scattered in other locations, failed to take off Monday night.

     That meeting, with limited attendance due to COVID-19 related social distancing regulations and Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order, was rescheduled for 6:30 p.m. next Monday, May 11.

     “We practiced, it went perfectly,” county attorney Amanda Prince said of the technology commissioners had hoped would allow them to meet. “Tonight, it did not work.”

     Commissioners were using Webex technology to meet with each other, and planned to feed that into the county’s Facebook page where the public could view it and abide by the state’s open meeting laws.

     Webex worked, the commissioners were virtually together, ready to meet.

     “The link on Facebook failed,” Prince said.

     County staff will be working on alternate ways to make the meeting available for public viewing, perhaps using YouTube, Prince said. They are also exploring ways to allow the public to dial into the meeting, on the phone where they would be able to listen if not view the proceedings.

     “There are a lot of people in the county that don’t have a way to watch a meeting on the Internet,” Prince said. “This might open it up to more of the public.”

     Look for more on how to view next week’s meeting here, when those decisions are made, and in the next Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online if the timing allows.