City Council Returns With Virtual Meeting on April 20
CouncilOffers Online Speaker Slip Registration and Emailed Testimony
[COLUMBUS, OH] City Council returns on April 20, 2020 at 5pm, for its first public meeting since March 16, 2020. Happening virtually, councilmembers will conduct regular City business while addressing concerns relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. The zoning meeting is scheduled for 6:30pm.
“Your Council team has been hard at work over the last month fighting for the residents of Columbus," said Council President Shannon G. Hardin. "We're providing critical public health information to communities around the City during this pandemic. I am excited to resume our meetings to conduct our City’s regular business in a safe and responsible way.”
Council President Hardin will conduct the virtual meeting from Council Chambers. In adherence to social distancing, the other members and department directors will appear through WebEx into the livestream of the meeting.
PROVIDING PUBLIC TESTIMONY DURINGTHE REGULAR MEETING
Columbus City Council urges residents to submit their testimony in writing rather than attend the meeting in person. Residents that wish to speak during the meeting via WebEx should submit a speaker slip online. As with the regular in-person procedure, the first three speakers for and against an ordinance who submit time-stamped forms will be invited to speak before Council through a WebEx invite. To access the form, visit w ww.columbus.gov/council/information/Online-Speaker-Slip/. Online speaker slips can be submitted between 8am-3pm on the day of the meeting to firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the emergency period, non-agenda speakers must submit their testimony to the City Clerk in writing by 3pm to the same email address. All submitted testimony will be entered into the record.
“This is an important first step in modernizing how the public engages with Council,” Hardin continued. “We are excited to provide more opportunities for folks to engage.”
Residents can submit written testimony in favor or in opposition to an ordinance to the City Clerk. Written testimony must be received by 3pm on the day of the meeting, emailed to email@example.com. Testimony can also be mailed to Columbus City Council, Attn: City Clerk Speaker Testimony, 90 West Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43215. Residents should include their contact information and the ordinance number in their testimony.
PROVIDING SWORN TESTIMONY DURINGTHE ZONING MEETING
Any party that is presenting testimony to Columbus City Council on a Council variance ordinance is required to be sworn in prior to giving testimony. In order to accommodate this, parties will be required to attend the meeting, preferably via WebEx.
All parties planning to present testimony on a Zoning Committee ordinance must email the City Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 3pm on the day of the zoning meeting to request attendance at the meeting. The Clerk will provide the WebEx meeting information allowing those parties to attend the meeting electronically, and those submitting testimony must join the WebEx meeting no later than 6:30 pm on the day of the zoning meeting. The Zoning Chair will swear in all parties signed up to testify on a Council Variance just prior to the reading of that piece of legislation. For more information, visit https://www.columbus.gov/council/toolkit/rules-for-speaking-at-city-council/.
In accordance with public access provisions, the meeting is not closed to the public. However, Columbus City Council discouragesresidents from attending the meeting in person, in consideration of the State of Ohio’s stay-at-home order and social distancing guidelines. The protocols of the social distancing will be enforced, and the capacity in Chambers will be drastically reduced.
“As long as we work together, stay home when we can and practice social distancing, we will continue to avoid the worst impacts of COVID-19,” said Council President Hardin. “The City of Columbus is working hard to get everyone through this pandemic, and our work on April 20 will push us toward a brighter future on the other side.”
The meeting will be live-streamed on CTV, the City’s YouTube channel and Facebook Live.