There are a number of advantages to videoconferencing, but they apply in the best of times, not during a national public-health crisis.


Three members of the Southern Shores Town Council will meet Tuesday, April 7, at 3:30 p.m., at the Pitts Center for a meeting during which they will take up matters previously slated for the March 24 budget workshop, such as beach nourishment, capital street projects, possible no-left-turn summer weekends, and the town pay study.

The meeting will be limited to 10 persons, in accordance with emergency restrictions imposed by the State during the COVID-19 pandemic. The other Town Council members and the public will be able to participate remotely.

According to Town Clerk Sheila Kane, who spoke with The Beacon today, Mayor Tom Bennett and Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Morey will attend the meeting, as will Interim Town Manager Wes Haskett, Finance Director Bonnie Swain, and Ms. Kane herself.

Town Attorney Ben Gallop will be participating electronically, Ms. Kane said. She did not know who the third Town Council member would be to make up a quorum, but counting that person, six of the 10 maximum attendees have already been determined.

Neither the police chief nor the fire chief will be giving monthly reports, so there will be room at the Pitts Center for four citizens to attend on what Ms. Kane said would be a “first-come, first-serve” basis.

See the meeting agenda here:  https://www.southernshores-nc.gov/wp-content/uploads/minutes-agendas-newsletters/Agendas_2020-04-07.pdf

The public will be able to join the meeting electronically by using Zoom software through a computer or cellphone. You also may use your telephone to listen to the audio portion of the meeting, without the benefit of video.

According to a notice that was posted on the Town website today, you may join the meeting through Zoom by typing into your Internet browser the URL: https://zoom.us/j/612186193. The ID for the meeting is 612 186 193.

“If you have not used Zoom before, you are encouraged to download the application from their website at Zoom.us,” the Town notice instructs, “and try it out prior to the meeting.”

There is no cost involved with the software or with attending the meeting.

If you choose to join the meeting by telephone, you may call (253) 215-8782 or (301) 715-8592, and when prompted, enter the meeting ID number, 612 182 193, followed by the pound (#) sign. Long-distance charges will apply, as usual.

You will not be able to access the meeting by telephone until it has actually started, Ms. Kane said. You also will not be able to comment by telephone.


There will be the usual two public-comment periods during the meeting. You may submit your public comments to Ms. Kane before the meeting, and the Mayor will read them into the record, she said. You may email skane@southernshores-nc.gov or send them by U.S. mail. It would be best to email them by 3 p.m. on the meeting day.

You also may submit your comments via Zoom “chat” during the live public-comment period. As Ms. Kane explained, there will be a message board on the right side of your screen in which you can type in your comments and transmit them. The Mayor will read these comments aloud, as well.

In all cases, Ms. Kane requests that you include your name and address with your comments and limit them to three minutes, when read aloud.

See https://www.southernshores-nc.gov/southern-shores-town-council-meeting-april-7-2020-330-p-m/southern-shores-notice-electronic-participation-2/

All N.C. municipalities and schools are using the Zoom software to conduct electronic meetings during the COVID-19 crisis, Ms. Kane explained.

People who attend the meeting should keep a minimum distance of six feet from others before, during, and after the meeting. A recording of the meeting will be posted on the Town website “as soon as possible” after its conclusion.

The meeting packet will be available on the Town website by close of business tomorrow, according to Ms. Kane.

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 3/31/20

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