Village of New Paltz trustees are gaining confidence that the current coronavirus wave is now receding. Mask imperatives are being pulled, numbers of reported cases are down and there’s talk about returning to meeting the old-fashioned way, with people all in the same room together. That change could come “in a month or so” according to trustee William Wheeler Murray. The last time meetings were held in the Village firehouse, the option of attending or observing remotely was preserved. Murray didn’t touch on that point specifically, but it’s likely that meetings will continue to be a hybrid affair for the foreseeable future.
Two for the price of two
There are two meeting rooms in Village Hall, but until now there has only been one virtual meeting room for conducting Village business. That’s been acceptable until recently, when members of the Affordable Housing Board had their last few minutes cut off because of another scheduled online event. While there’s talk of reopening Village Hall meeting rooms for the conduct of business, it’s impossible to say if future waves of coronavirus will again shift the dependence to online conference software.
To that end, Village officials are springing for a second account with their preferred virtual meeting vendor. That will ensure that volunteers conducting the business of the Village people won’t be curtailed because another event is on the calendar. Meetings can and do run long — particularly government meetings — and now elected officials, residents and volunteers won’t feel that they have to be succinct because of an external time limit.