Township discusses new platform for future virtual meetings


The Tabernacle Township Committee discussed changing the platform for its virtual meetings after a one-year contract with Zoom expired.

According to township administrator and city clerk Maryalice Brown, Tabernacle’s agreement with Zoom expired just days before the committee’s regular meeting in September. The session was conducted after Brown was granted a one-week extension to that contract to allow time for public discussion.

Rather than renew the one-year deal with Zoom, Brown recommended the township pursue a plan to pay significantly less — or nothing at all — for a virtual meeting platform.

“Our Zoom account needed to be renewed,” Brown said. “Last year’s contract was $1,289.60 and it had a lot of extras that we just didn’t need. it was a bit overkill. I spoke to Zoom and was able to lower our account to $299.80 for the year, but the only issue is that they only take a credit card if your account is under $150 per month.

“Of course, being a government agency, we don’t use credit cards,” she added. “They won’t accept purchase orders and they won’t accept ACH (automated clearing house). I’ve been arguing with them for about two weeks now trying to explain to them that government entities don’t use credit card.

Brown, who also works for another municipality, recommended that the committee allow him to continue discussions with the township’s finance department about using a free service, FreeConferenceCall.com, for the remainder of the calendar year. until a long-term solution is approved. She said the township currently has no plans to return to in-person meetings and will continue virtual sessions for the foreseeable future.

Committee member Bob Sunbury Jr. had discussions with former township administrators about a credit card for use in the township.

“I had talked, going back to two admins now, about … getting a credit card for the municipality, because there are a lot, and I mean a lot, of different vendors that require government agency credit cards to make purchases like this,” he explained. .

“It was supposed to have been done quite a while ago, and I’d like it to be tracked, so that different departments have access and can make purchases, if they need to.”

After approval, Brown said information about the chosen platform will be shared on the township’s website ahead of the next scheduled committee meeting.

Also at last month’s meeting, the township approved at second reading an ordinance that would allow the placement of speed limit signs along Tuckerton Road between Route 206 and Forked Neck Road. The road is shared by Shamong and Tabernacle, and the ordinance was approved by the former.

The measure was necessitated by the lack of an official speed limit along the nearly two-mile stretch. Its passage will result in speed limit signs along both sides of the road, after coordination and approval by the two municipalities.

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