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Feeling disconnected

Are you feeling disconnected? We have all struggled in the last few months to maintain that sense of community and connection. We’ve been diligent in following the rules and staying home and, even when we moved to phase three, we continued to be careful and keep our distance. For some people, including Council, this means we may be feeling disconnected.
Almost all our meetings, including our Council meetings and our monthly Council Conversations, are held online using the Zoom platform. It is a good platform for allowing us to meet face to face without actually being in person, yet for some people, the technology is a barrier.
We investigated how to allow for attendance in person at meetings, but it is just not possible with the spaces we have available. Seaside Centre is our biggest facility and, if we arrange for Council and a couple of staff to be in the room, there is no room for the public to attend while maintaining the necessary physical distancing so we would still need to use Zoom and technology. That means installing cameras and individual microphones so we can still live feed to YouTube for the larger public audience. The best we can do is have a Zoom meeting and set it up so a few members of the public can watch the meeting on a screen in Seaside. So, if you would like to watch the meeting on the big screen and simply walk up to a microphone during the question period, that is an option. We tried it this month and had a couple of technical glitches, but we will try it again in September.
If you are one of those people who would like to participate from home but are nervous about the technology, I can tell you that it is less scary than you think. We all fear embarrassing ourselves when we try new technology, but our meetings have been set up to keep it very simple for you.
You can watch our meetings on YouTube (the link is on our website) and email us your questions after the meeting to Council@sechelt.ca. Or if you want to be able to ask your questions live, just click the Zoom link from the meeting calendar on the District website, and you will join the meeting with audio only. We have purposely set it up so that you can’t accidentally join with video, and you are automatically muted when you join. At the end of the meeting, the chair will give verbal instructions so you know how to raise your hand to ask a question during question period and then you will be unmuted by the meeting host when it is your turn.
We would love to hear from you at our meetings, but if this still seems too uncomfortable for you, just reach out to us by email. And the telephone still works! If you want to chat, I would be happy to take your call. You can reach me on my cell at 604-740-7379. We must stay connected while we stay apart.

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