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County holds first hybrid meeting
first hybrid meeting
Wayne Wolford led the Pledge of Allegiance during Monday night’s meeting of the Warren County Commission. He served in the United States Army for 20 years, retiring in 1995.

Warren County Government held its first hybrid session on Monday. It was the first in-person meeting of the commission since October.

“It went well,” said Commissioner Blaine Wilcher, chairman. “We had a three-minute delay in the beginning, but it went pretty smoothly after that.”

In November 2020, commissioners approved spending $9,993 in governor’s grant money to purchase and install four TVs, a laptop, a camera, several speakers and any other necessary hardware in the courtroom to facilitate hybrid meetings. In a hybrid meetings, some people attend the meeting in person while others join the meeting by web conference. 

County government originally attempted to use Zoom, an online video conferencing service. However, recurring difficulties hindered conducting business, such as webcam and audio not working, echoes during calls, difficulties accessing the meetings, dropped calls when commissioners use cellphones and not computers, and situations when attendees forget to mute their audio during the meeting.

On Monday, Commissioners Christy Ross, Gary Prater, Deborah Evans and Carl E. Bouldin opted to attend the meeting via web conference and 19 commissioners were in person. Commissioner David Dunlap was absent. 

The upgrade was a drastic improvement, says County Executive Jimmy Haley, “Our new technology worked well last night and will best serve the future needs of the courtroom space.”

Leading the group into the new era with the Pledge of Allegiance was Wayne Wolford. 

“The staff sergeant joined the United States Army in 1975,” said Wilcher. “He attended basic training in Kentucky. After completion of basic training, he was responsible for repairing radars and meteorological systems. Wolford retired with a distinguished career of service in July 1995.”

Wilcher selects someone to lead the pledge who served or is currently serving their country or community. Wolford has done both. Currently, he is the curator of the Black History Museum of Warren County.