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Champaign County Board To Offer Remote Meeting Option

Front entrance of the Brookens Administrative Center in Urbana, where the Champaign County Board holds its meetings.

UPDATE: Champaign County Executive Darlene Kloeppel said on Thursday that in-person public attendance at Thursday evening’s county board meeting  will not be allowed, and all public comment would occur via online video conferencing, due to new government guidelines discouraging meetings of more than ten people. She added that if in-person attendance by county board members was more than ten, some members would take part electronically from another room.  — JM 3/19/20 5:48 PM

When the Champaign County Board holds their monthly meeting Thursday evening, March 19, members will have the option of taking part through online video conferencing.

County executive Darlene Kloeppel says the county board is using Zoom, a video conferencing tool, for those who want to stay away from a public gathering, due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“We will have the boardroom open,” said Kloeppel, and some of the board members will probably come and choose to participate face to face. But they also have the choice now to join the meeting remotely, which we’ve not had in the past. The board rules have not allowed electronic participation in the past.”

Some public bodies do allow electronic participation. But Governor JB Pritzker’s coronavirus emergency declaration directed the option for all such panels in Illinois.

Kloeppel says members of the public who wish to address the county board during the Public Comment time may also do so via Zoom.

“I can see who’s on it,” said Kloeppel of the Zoom app, “so I will be able to call on people. And they will have their five minutes, and then we can move onto the next person.”

Kloeppel says the agenda for the March 18 Champaign County Board meeting is fairly short, so she thought it would be a good one to test out the remote participation option. County board members and the public will still be able to attend in person if they choose.

The March 19 Champaign County Board meeting begins at 6:30 P.M. in the Lyle Shields Meeting Room at the county’s Brookens Administrative Center, 1776 E. Washington St., in Urbana.

Live streaming of county board meetings is available at this link. 

Directions for using Zoom to participate in the county board meeting can be found at the Champaign County website at this link. 

Picture of Jim Meadows

Jim Meadows

Jim Meadows has been covering local news for WILL Radio since 2000, with occasional periods as local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered and a stint hosting WILL's old Focus talk show. He was previously a reporter at public radio station WCBU in Peoria.

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