GALLIPOLIS — Gallia Commissioners gathered for their regularly scheduled meeting in what may be the last of its kind for a time as the county enacts outbreak prevention measures by gearing up to stream its Thursday meetings.
Commissioners requested that county IT professionals set up a web camera and sound equipment so that courthouse meetings could be viewed by the public via YouTube in efforts to comply with Ohio sunshine laws amidst abnormal circumstances with the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We’ve set up and are live streaming on YouTube,” said Commissioner Harold Montgomery. “We’re in a test mode today…By (Ohio Revised Code) it states (people) only have to see and hear it…”
Montgomery said that commissioners had been in contact with Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Gallia Prosecutor Jason Holdren about the initiative and were preparing in case they were unable to meet in the courthouse to also hold conference call meetings from remote locations if necessary.
“This is just showing that to comply with the open meeting sunshine law,” said Montgomery, “we’re just trying to look ahead a bit here so that we can keep the county functioning should we end up with some possible lockdown and everybody at home.”
County officials said it was important to continue meetings to approve and pay bills and payroll for emergency personnel that the county and its residents depend on.
Residents will not be able to comment during the viewable YouTube meetings. Those with questions may call the commissioners office.
“We’re positioning ourselves to be able to function even if we’re not able to be in person,” said Montgomery. “You should be able to watch YouTube and sit in your office and watch and listen to us.”
Gallia County Commissioners typically meet at 9 a.m. every Thursday. Search for the Gallia County Commissioners YouTube channel for more information.
Dean Wright is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing and can be reached at 740-446-2342.