City of Windsor restarts in-person council meetings
WINDSOR, ONT. -- Windsor city council chambers have been transformed into an anti-virus fortress.
Complete with physical distancing markers, glass shields between sears and disposable plastic guards for microphones.
“We’ve had to follow the rules that are in place even inside council chambers, only 50 people allowed indoors,” said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens.
Because of that, only five of 10 members of council attended. The other five stayed at home.
Ward 2 councillor Fabio Costante wanted to be there.
“There’s nothing better than being here physically in chambers, so I was excited to be here today,” he said.
Most city staffers also tuned in virtually — leaving a bare-bones administration in the room.
“We’re in that hybrid mode where you can do things online and come to chamber if you want,” Dilkens said. “We’re trying to graduate back to full in full council meetings, but it’s going to take some time until the general public is ready for that and we’re going to be ready to do that as well.”
That mix leaves space for up to 30 delegates and media.
The mayor indicated those who want to be a delegate but don’t feel up to coming in person can chime in virtually.
“We still don’t want people to gather in public places if they don’t have to,” Dilkens said.
Around six people attended Monday’s meeting, but the spacing and regular cleaning could persuade more delegates to attend in person.
“I’m very much satisfied with how everything has been spread out and I think it’s a relatively safe place to be if you want to be a delegate or attend meetings,” Constante said.
Dilkens admits the hybrid model was a bit clumsy — but not bad for a first go in six months.
“You’ll have these hiccups,” he said. “We’re all human and doing the best we can and we’ll get through it together.