'Your government is operating and functioning,' says Tonawanda Town Board from cyberspace

Mar 24, 2020

It sounded the same, with the same legal requirements, the same contract approvals, the same memorial resolutions. Monday evening's Tonawanda Town Board meeting was a mix of the traditional and the modern, a meeting in cyberspace.

"Public has been barred from attending this meeting, so there will be public comment period."

Credit Town of Tonawanda

The Town Board members were in their own homes, tied together by the web. Much of the town government is working from home, except for those who do everything from policing the streets to making sure the sewer system operates properly.

Sometimes, the meeting sounded so usual.

"Motion is carried. Thank you."

"Resolution 198. Motion to approve and authorize the supervisor to execute."

Or

"Motion by Councilman Bargnesi and is seconded by Councilman Conrad. On the question: All in favor, you say aye?"

"Aye."

"Opposed? Motion is carried."

Supervisor Joe Emminger told residents listening to the session that their government works.

"Your town government is operating and functioning, albeit in a different way that we all are used to. A prime example of that is what we just finished," Emminger said. "I believe for the first time in the history of our town the Town Board had to prohibit the public from attending a Town Board meeting."

And the meeting closed the usual way, mostly.

"This meeting stands adjourned until Monday, April 6 at 7 o'clock. Be safe, everyone."