LANSING, N.Y. — The Lansing Town Board held their regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday night inside the town hall despite the fact that most municipalities throughout the Finger Lakes have moved to remote meetings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has infected over 200,000 New Yorkers.
A copy of the agenda can be found here.
The meeting, which the public could not attend in person, was live-streamed on Facebook where it was difficult to distinguish what was being said and by whom.
“I have heard that the meeting was hard to hear and that it was hard to tell who was talking and I appreciate the feedback,” said Town Supervisor Ed LaVigne. “We are going to work to make sure it runs more smoothly in the future.”
LaVigne, along with council members Andra Benson and Joseph Wetmore, attended in person along with two people, whose faces were not visible, who appeared to be town employees.
Council members Bronwyn Losey and Doug Dake attended the meeting remotely using Zoom and voted on all resolutions under consideration.
“Losey and I were able to vote on everything due to an executive order that allows remote voting. That previously would not have been the case. We had a quorum either way,” Dake said.
The Livestream of the meeting, which was held on the town’s department of parks and recreation Facebook page, was replete with comments during the meeting that it was hard to understand what was happening.
“I can hardly hear what they are saying,” posted Heather Stephen Campbell during the meeting.
All resolutions taken under consideration were passed by the town board including the hiring of seasonal workers, increasing pay for parks and recreation department members, the hiring of an attorney to represent the town in the Collyer Trust fire claim and the establishment of a town broadband committee amongst others.
“We will figure this out month-to-month, (during the meeting) we kept social distancing and mostly kept our masks on most of the time,” LaVigne said.
Going forward LaVigne said that the town is going to investigate the possibility of holding remote public sessions for local laws that are required by the state to have public input that the town hopes to pass in the near future.
“We have a law to override the tax cap if needed and another solar law that we have been sitting on for (months), which we will revisit in May,” LaVigne said.
LaVigne said there are concerns in the town as to how public sessions would be handled remotely and how people would interact and see each other.
“Trumansburg just held some public hearings recently remotely, it will be good to know the procedure they used because we learn from each other,” LaVigne said.