Surprising Stuff

Under current conditions, the televised city council meetings are better than nothing, but they are awkward to watch.
To get everyone on the screen, it has to be divided into small squares, and the location of each person appears to have been arbitrary; whereas, in a normal meeting, one’s location indicates one’s position of authority. In watching a meeting in the city hall or being televised from city hall, there is a focal point that follows the topic being discussed as it goes from person to person. The rest is off-screen, or in one’s peripheral vision, so that the distraction is minimal, but not in the current televised council meetings.

The city council’s current video conference meetings, as shown, are like trying to watch football games with all the 10 angle shoots being placed on the same screen, rather than the just the one that is following the ball (the topic being discussed). This video conferencing is temporary because of the Coronavirus, but there is talk that video conferencing city hall meetings may be the wave of the future for these meetings. The idea to make this temporary way of airing a council meeting permanent should be tabled for further review.  Maybe there will be a time in the future when the way we used to communicate before the virus, which was effective, and included discussing and communicating human issues in person, done face to face with eye to eye contact and without a mask, and definitely closer than six feet away.


The domestic abuse shelter is back on the agenda in Elkhorn.
A judge has ordered  Elkhorn City officials to reconsider a proposed domestic abuse shelter at 20 N. Church St. location, which is a vacant medical building donated by Aurora Health Care. The prospective place is also across from the police station. The judge ruled last summer the city improperly denied a permit for the project. According to Walworth County Circuit Judge Daniel Johnson, the city’s elected leaders presented no factual basis for rejecting a proposal from New Beginnings to open the shelter in downtown Elkhorn. Johnson was not happy that an alderperson took his own measurements of the parking lot, and then presented that as evidence to deny the permit. The judge called the alderperson’s actions improper and inappropriate. This means that the Elkhorn City Council must reconvene to vote again on the proposal presented by New Beginnings. New Beginnings, based in Elkhorn, has been trying for years to establish Walworth County’s first emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence, and with the pandemic raging on, they feel there is an even bigger need since domestic abuse has risen significantly since the “safe at home” order started. Judge Johnson listened to the city council meeting and reviewed records, but found no facts presented by the city to support its denial of the permit. The judge has left it in the hands of the alderpersons to make a new decision and hopefully this time they make the right decision or at least follow the law.

Fred’s Burgers, Burlington

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