Warden's election to be held virtually in December
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Huron County Council has voted to stick with the virtual meeting format for its inaugural meeting this December, when the new warden will be elected.
Clerk Susan Cronin presented council with a number of options at its Nov. 4 meeting, which was held virtually via Zoom. While some councillors felt the meeting could be held safely in person in a large enough space, the majority of councillors didn’t feel it was worth the risk. In addition, they felt setting a proper example for residents was their responsibility.
Cronin told councillors there would be technological barriers to hosting the meeting anywhere but council chambers, but told council there would be no way to safely accommodate everyone in council chambers, saying there would likely be over 50 people in attendance.
In addition, she said Zoom has a feature that allows attendees to vote anonymously, which would allow for the election of the new warden to go forward unencumbered.
Thus far, Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Mayor Glen McNeil and South Huron Mayor George Finch are the two men running for the position.
Goderich Mayor John Grace said he felt the region had been very lucky in terms of COVID-19 cases, but that as community leaders, it was up to councillors to set the right example for their residents, which meant not gathering unless it was absolutely necessary.
Finch, one of the men running for the position, agreed. He said council had shown that it’s capable of meeting virtually and making decisions, so he didn’t see the need to meet in-person for the election of the warden.
Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Deputy-Mayor Roger Watt said he favoured listening to the world’s leading medical experts, who have advised against large gatherings.
North Huron Reeve Bernie Bailey was the only councillor who really spoke in favour of an in-person meeting, though he said he was happy to meet virtually as well.
His point was that council could set an example, but one different from that being discussed earlier in the meeting. If council could meet, wear masks and follow physical distancing protocols, he felt council could demonstrate how to properly meet in person to residents.
Council voted in favour of holding the meeting virtually. It is now set for Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 9 a.m.
The time has also been changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Traditionally, the inaugural session had been followed by a social time, so it was scheduled for 1 p.m. With that not being an option this year, councillors voted to begin the meeting at 9 a.m., the standard meeting time for Huron County Council.