It’s good to see local governments doing what they can to remain transparent and accessible to their constituents.

In the village of Almont, municipal leaders have opted to invest in new equipment and technology that will allow them to live broadcast council meetings.

In Imlay City, the school board held a socially distanced in-person meeting last week that was broadcast to the public while interviewing candidates for an open school board seat.

In Capac, the school board will hold it’s first hybrid meeting tomorrow. They’ll meet in person outdoors and it will be accessible online via Zoom.

In Dryden, the village is taking public hearings to Zoom. Later this month, they’ll discuss variance requests virtually.

Why is this important? Some of these changes came about because of the coronavirus and technology allowed public boards to be both transparent and stay safe. Going forward many of these practices will make these entities more accessible for the average citizen.

Not everyone is able to attend municipal meetings in person, whether due to work schedules, transportation issues or caregiving requirements but that doesn’t mean they’re not interested in what’s happening, particularly now when these boards are making critical decisions regarding health, safety, finances and more. Log on to just about any Zoom meeting these days and you’ll see many more faces or names on the screen than the number of guests at a pre-pandemic meeting.

It’s obvious that these new and now proven tools can foster greater civil engagement. We trust local leaders have taken notice of this and will do what they can to continue this positive trend in post-pandemic times too.