The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is continuing to hold virtual meetings. A larger meeting room would be needed before the regional district can bring members of the public to in-person meetings. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is continuing to hold virtual meetings. A larger meeting room would be needed before the regional district can bring members of the public to in-person meetings. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)

Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen continues with online meetings

Larger venue needed before public can be included in-person at board meetings

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen board and staff are considering how to open their meetings to allow the public to visit in person.

Since March, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the regional district closing its meetings to in-person attendance from the public.

READ ALSO: Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen job cuts are permanent, administrator says

READ ALSO: Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen holds meeting online

Members of the board of directors have participated through video conferences and later by meeting at the regional district board office in Penticton

However, Bill Newell, chief administrative officer at the regional district, said opening the meetings to the public is difficult because of the space.

“Our problem is the size of our board room. We’d need a really big room to get back to normal business,” he said.

Until a larger space can be found, or until a cure or vaccine can be found for the pandemic, the meetings will be held electronically, he said.

The meetings are open for the public to view online by visiting the regional district’s website at rdos.bc.ca.

Newell said regional district staff are looking for a larger venue in which to hold the board meetings.

“We’ve got really good IT staff, but nothing replaces personal contact,” he said.

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