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To stream or not to stream: Houghton County may continue online streams of board meetings

Houghton County may continue online streams of board meetings

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Houghton County Sheriff’s Deputy Larry Lindlbauer checks Linda Belote’s temperature before she enters Tuesday’s Houghton County Board meeting. The temperature checks and health screenings are part of safety measures implemented at the courthouse to guard against COVID-19 as it reopens.

HOUGHTON — Though the Houghton County Board resumed meeting in-person Tuesday, it will look at ways to continue livestreaming the meetings for people who can’t make it. 

Commissioner Gretchen Janssen suggested keeping the livestreams as she likes being able to interact with the commissioners in person, and that a live stream would be inexpensive and allow more community participation. Janssen also suggested opening the meeting to public comments from people watching remotely. 

“I think a lot of people aren’t going to come because they don’t want to be in a closed room with a lot of people,” she said. 

Administrator Eric Forsberg said such a move would require having someone to monitor the live feed. He also asked for a more secure forum than Zoom to avoid the pitfall of meeting in Baraga County where people jumped on the stream to yell profanities.

Chairman Al Koskela asked if the board could follow the model used by the board in June, where members met in person but the public tuned in remotely. 

The board agreed with Vice Chairman Tom Tikkanen’s suggestion to have the county’s information technology director review the issue and come up with recommendations. 

Attendees of Tuesday’s meeting were required to undergo a temperature check and fill out a health screening. 

The board also moved its Sept. 15 meeting up a week to Sept. 8. It will still be held at 5 p.m.

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