Thursday’s news items [April’s over and what a month it’s been; if people cannot hear what’s being discussed, it’s time to do something differently; virtual meetings solutions; school budget losses & more] – 4/30/2020

“Economists agree | No quick rebound from recession is likely”Lancaster Online

kinda’ tranparent | Last night’s zoning hearing board meeting was somewhat transparent: the live streaming of the meeting began around 20 minutes into the meeting and following a nearly 20 minute “executive session” the meeting was reconvened for a an under four minute conclusion. More than a few who attended the livesteamed event commented on not being able to hear everyone. While wearing protective masks, some of the comments were clear and quite audible; others were not.

LNP unscientific pollSOURCE: LNP – Always Lancaster, 4/30/2020

politics over science | Respondents to a Lancaster Online poll exhibit the split of opinions in a small sample poll. Republican elected public servants dismiss science and follow the party line. That’s surprising for two of the county commissioners who are military veterans who should know about operating in contaminated environments.

How transparent is the state? | “Critics question transparency of virtual press conferences during COVID-19 crisis”FOX43-TV

good move | The Columbia Police Department’s Crime Watch page post recognizes a significant potential: “Quarantine with family members does not mean that family and intimate partner crimes of violence or sexual abuse will not be investigated.  If you or a member of your family are in danger, call for help.  We recommend that you call the police, but if you don’t feel safe enough to do that now, there are agencies who can help.”

“could lose” | “The Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials released it’s projection of the drop in local revenues for school districts next year the day after the House State Government Committee approved a bill to freeze school district property taxes next year.” According to the news release, Columbia Borough School District “could lose” somewhere around $600,000 depending on which resource you look at:

Click here to see the estimated range of total local revenue loss for each school district under PASBO’s assumptions for 2020-21. 

Click here to see the estimated range of total local revenue loss for each school district in spreadsheet form.

video conferencing platforms abound| Noticed that Lancaster County’s government is using Lifesize to conduct its virtual meetings. The video conferencing landscape is becoming increasingly robust. Yet, the comparison of Lifesize vs. Zoom is interesting. Lifesize, as Zoom, are quite affordale.

“Virtual vs. Face-to-Face | Which Meeting Type is Better?” Everyone can come up with lots of reasons why one method of meetings is better than another. The pandemic world of today has produced an explosion of Internet-based virtual meeting platforms. This article, “Virtual vs. Face-to-Face – Which Meeting Type is Better?” lists pro’s and con’s of each.

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