Our county is currently under a regional stay at home order. Hundreds of our neighbors have been sickened and and some have died. Many—perhaps most—people in our community are understandably not comfortable spending hours with others in a closed room. Yet, appearing in-person in the board chambers is currently the only option provided by the Board of Supervisors for people’s comments to be heard publicly during meetings.
The Board’s current position of refusing to provide remote participation options during a pandemic is unreasonable, illegal, and is putting the health of the community at risk as well as risking the health of board members and county staff. A refusal to adequately incorporate public comment into board meetings reveals a disinterest in public opinion and an inflexibility to change practice in response to an evolving health crisis. This lack of remote public commenting is not only silencing Plumas County’s public, but increasingly isolating Plumas County from the vast majority of other California counties who have made public access a priority.