Mixed bag for online city council meetings during COVID

Jeannie Simmonds (file photo)

LOGAN — Logan City council member and Cache Water District committee member Jeannie Simmonds said it’s been an interesting year with council interaction going online.

It’s all interesting how creative everybody has had to be. I mean, from churches to non-profit to government to be able to continue to function, because, as you well know, people still want to build buildings, people still want to open businesses, people still need to register their vehicle,” Simmonds explained.

“It’s surprising to me how much of that has now been pushed onto the internet. And I wonder if the lasting effect is that we find out we don’t need as much face-to-face.”

On KVNU’s For the People program on Wednesday, Simmonds said the council Zoom meetings are getting much better.

“Amy Anderson has done a phenomenal job in all of the times we’ve had to have electronic meetings. We did meet in person for a short amount of time. It’s more challenging in many ways with all the restrictions, because you can’t have very many people in attendance.

“You have to be six feet apart, so we’re a little disjointed. Everybody’s wearing a mask and so some people can’t hear other people as well.”

She said, in that regard, being on Zoom has made things more level. But, Simmonds acknowledged it is more difficult for people to call in and they don’t feel as engaged in the process if they are not on the council itself.

In the long run, though, she said anyone can be in their pajamas or dressed for work and sit in their living room to watch the water district meeting, for example, the first Monday of every month, if they would like to do so.

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