By Roger Gitlin – EYE ON DEL NORTE – June 18, 2021
At Thursday’s Special Meeting of the Crescent Fire Protection District, June 17th, the meeting where very few people virtually attended, posed an obstacle for your right to free speech; two of the public speakers encountered all kinds of ZOOM technical problems attempting to have their comments heard.
I was fortunate. My message to the Directors was at least heard, albeit not listened to .I wonder aloud if ZOOM is here to stay.
Our local governances, City Council and Board of Supervisors are in absolutely no hurry to have the public back in the gallery, watching and commenting in public purview and having local folks have an easier go to address our elected rather than struggling with ZOOM.
The obstacles to address our elected are very challenging. At the risk of minimizing the effects of the dubious Covid 19 virus, I am of the opinion our elected will “use” the virus issue and continue to utilize ZOOM, despite all the shortcomings of access to your right of free speech.
*Government assumes incorrectly all of us have access to a computer.
* Those who have hearing and sight issues still excluded many from ZOOM.
* The technical shortcomings of ZOOM do not account for electrical outages.* and most importantly, the public feels far more comfortable standing at a public dias than attempting to negotiate the ZOOM protocol.
In the meantime, our local government hides behind the ZOOM curtain, insulated from public scrutiny.
NOT GOOD GOVERNMENT.
I suspect our local elected will milk this Covid19 cow for a very, very long time. Allow me to make a bold prediction: ZOOM technology will be the new normal and will be the practice next year at this very time, and will continue for many years, until we the public demand open and transparent meetings