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Presentation Planning Board meetings during a pandemic

luckless pedestrian

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So the show must go on and all that - my state put in legislation that allows for remote connections but the public still has to participate.

my fair city is on a lockdown - staff is here, accepting, reviewing applications but we cannot all meet in the same room

the chief elected officials are trying out zoom - they have had a couple of meetings with no public interaction on zoom, but with a few people in the council chambers and it's streamed, so it's weird, but the public can view and I guess tonight they are trying to do it with the public allowed to Zoom in - I am skeptical but we'll see

I have been trying to see if a more webinar approach is better - anyone can log on but not everyone gets to speak all at once - the host (the chair) calls on people - maybe the plans are uploaded like a slide and the applicant speaks, and then people raise their hand (like in GoToWebinar) and they get called on to ask their question or whatever.

Does anyone else have plans for or is already doing remote regulatory meetings - I think traditional video conference call programs are fine for committees and staff/applicants but those processes that require public hearings is a little tricky (I wish I was a web-head because this is going to be a HUGE need!!!)
 

Faust_Motel

Cyburbian
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528
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23
We are doing to do development review tomorrow via Zoom Webinar (different than a Zoom Meeting). State law still requires a publicly-accessible place with one board or staff member, so that's going to be me in a hopefully-empty meeting room. If too many people show up there we are just going to shut the meeting down.

In addition to me we will have one staff member in their office "driving" the webinar and another watching remotely to take minutes. We will record the whole thing.
 

MacheteJames

Cyburbian
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955
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20
I see potential equity issues with the Zoom platform for public meetings and hearings that'll come back to bite us, months, a year, or more from now, unless we're very careful. Entire swaths of the population are not going to have the wherewithal to meaningfully participate in an electronic hearing.
 

Faust_Motel

Cyburbian
Messages
528
Points
23
I see potential equity issues with the Zoom platform for public meetings and hearings that'll come back to bite us, months, a year, or more from now, unless we're very careful. Entire swaths of the population are not going to have the wherewithal to meaningfully participate in an electronic hearing.
While I don't disagree that there may be issues, I think we have honestly been excluding a lot of people by setting physical attendance at a hearing as the "gold standard" of public participation.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
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19,908
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49
What about something like a Facebook live thing? Many people already use it, so it might be better for the less tech savvy.
This is the route that we are looking at. We will have our Council Members and staff log into Microsoft Teams and will have the IT person stream their screen to Youtube and Facebook. We will request that all public comments be provided in writing to the City Clerk ahead of time so they can be read into the meeting minutes. Staff will have their presentations on their computers and will do share screen for the members then turn it back over to the mayor.
 

Suburb Repairman

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Zoom has features that allow it to fully integrate with Facebook Live. That helps some.

I've seen cities leveraging their public access TV channel alongside it, setting up a hotline for call-in to address accessibility and digital divide issues. There are no elegant solutions, because we are now seeing proof that an industry treated as a luxury, internet service providers, is actually a public utility & essential infrastructure.

And you still have the ability to submit written comments.
 

luckless pedestrian

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We did our first Zoom meeting - 3 hours long, long agenda and it worked really great, phew!
 

Planit

Cyburbian
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The (little) city next door held their CC meeting using Facebook Live. It didn't go well & there was some grandstanding by a few of them.
 

bureaucrat#3

Member
Messages
29
Points
3
I'm currently trying to get the City Attorney to approve our public notices for a virtual PC meeting. I think our ads and property owner letters are going to have the full virtual meeting url even though most people either won't take the time to type it in or they'll mistype something. We're also putting in all over social media in hyperlinks.
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
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I'm currently trying to get the City Attorney to approve our public notices for a virtual PC meeting. I think our ads and property owner letters are going to have the full virtual meeting url even though most people either won't take the time to type it in or they'll mistype something. We're also putting in all over social media in hyperlinks.
I would suggest using a shortening service, like TinyURL https://tinyurl.com/

PlanIt: Facebook Live on its own sucks for trying to do a public meeting. Zoom can integrate to simulcast to Facebook Live and ends up working a lot better.
 

luckless pedestrian

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As I said in the other COVID thread - it's like Hollywood Squares!


I can laugh about this because I had a decent 3 hour meeting on Zoom the other night, with contentious abutters even!
 
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