In July, 2020, Summerland council met in the Summerland Arena Banquet Room to hold a meeting about the solar project. Council has also been holding regular meetings in council chambers, with the meetings being available on video. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Summerland council to examine meeting options

Present livestreaming has been plagued with sound quality issues

Summerland’s municipal council is continuing to hold live stream video council meetings as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Initially, the COVID-19 restrictions resulted in the closure of Summerland’s municipal hall and other facilities in the community. This included municipal council meetings, which were earlier held through the Zoom online platform.

The meetings are now being held in Summerland’s municipal hall and are being live-streamed.

There is no time line on how long the pandemic will continue.

Anthony Haddad, chief administrative officer for Summerland, said the present structure and physical distancing requirements would mean only five to 10 members of the public could be present at the council meetings.

READ ALSO: Summerland to offer livestreaming of council meetings

READ ALSO: Summerland amends procedure for virtual council meetings, adding transparency

However, while the meetings are available online, the sound quality has been a concern.

The audio was difficult to hear during the Aug. 10 afternoon and evening meetings, and similar issues have occurred during earlier meetings as well.

“The audio in council chambers is not picking up as clearly as on Zoom,” Haddad said.

Earlier, before the COVID-19 pandemic, Summerland council meetings were recorded and the video was later made available online. These meetings did not have the sound quality issues that have been present with the live-streamed meetings.

While council is not required to hold live stream meetings, Haddad said the option was chosen in order to allow members of the public to watch and to be able to comment during a meeting.

At one point, council tried using the Zoom platform, even though all members were in the same room. Again, sound issues made this method unworkable.

On July 13, council meetings were held in the Summerland Arena Banquet Room as the solar project was one of the items on the council agenda.

Seating was spaced in the room in order to allow for physical distancing.

Haddad said the municipality would have additional costs if council meetings were to be held in that room on a regular basis.

Summerland council will consider the future of its council meetings. A report on council meeting options will be presented to council at the Aug. 24 meeting.

Summerland mayor Toni Boot said the live-streaming is important in ensuring government transparency. Summerland council and staff have worked to allow people to watch the council meetings as they are happening, and to provide comments to the council.

“We’ve made it as easy as possible for people to weigh in on important matters,” she said.

At the same time, she said the costs of the various broadcast options must be considered. She said the July 13 meetings in the Summerland Arena Banquet Room were expensive to broadcast.

“We can’t really afford to use taxpayer money for that sort of thing, but it’s important to be transparent,” she said.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

City CouncilCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nine new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases since the pandemic started is now at 531 for the region

Council approves new Kelowna General Hospital parking lot

The lot is intended for use by KGH staff to address growing parking need in the area

Motorcycle rider identified following fatal crash in Peachland

Michael Odenbach died in a motorcycle collision on Sept. 27

Work continues to develop emergency shelter plan for Kelowna

City hoping to build ‘over-arching, community-driven vision for the future of emergency shelters in our community’

Known Kelowna Hells Angels associate to face trial in October

Colin Michael Bayley is set to stand trial next month for an alleged aggravated assault

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

Shuswap BC SPCA launches spay/neuter program for low-income residents

Program available to low-income residents in the region

More victims possible in Okanagan assault case

Vernon police have a man in custody but feel there could be more victims in the case

Most Read