Since our city council meetings have been held online since March, citizens had been told they could no longer speak during the Persons-to-be-heard part of our meetings but that they could address the council by sending an email to the city administrator for him to read. I had questioned this change months ago and suggested we allow citizens to actually speak but it seemed I was the only one.
At our last meeting 9/8/20 I asked to add an agenda item to discuss reinstating the participation of residents in our council meetings by allowing them to actually speak to the council. Hearing no objections to having the discussion it was put on the agenda.
We heard several logistical challenges from staff about how to manage the calls but none of them were insurmountable and they were directed to figure it out so future council meetings will include the ability to actually speak, rather than have an email read, during the Persons-to-be-heard section. This is important because an email doesn’t allow the council to ask questions or for citizens to elaborate on important topics.