West Lincoln allows public back into council chamber for meetings

West Lincoln is throwing its doors open, as the township has reopened council meetings to the public.

The first in-person meeting will be the planning, building, environmental committee meeting on Jan. 16 at 6:30 p.m. It will be the first time a meeting has been open to the public since March 2020, although the public was invited into the chambers to view election-night results last October.

While residents were not able to attend meetings in person during the pandemic, the township switched over to Zoom meetings before implementing livestreaming in 2021.

The township was slower than other local governments to revert to in-person meetings. Grimsby switched to hybrid meetings in April 2022, and Lincoln made the switch in May.

The township adopted a scientific, data-based approach to reopening the chambers to the public, according to West Lincoln’s chief administrative officer Bev Hendry.

“We had a very successful trial run when we opened the council chamber to the public on election night,” she said. “With the bustle of the election, new council orientation and the holiday season now behind us, the new year presented the perfect timing for a fresh start in West Lincoln.

“When making decisions that impact the health and safety of our residents and staff, we have relied on public health guidance within our local context. We will continue to monitor data, consult with public health and will ultimately always do what is best for our community.”

The meetings will still be livestreamed and available to view through the township’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/@townshipofwestlincoln7812.

Chris Pickles, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News