Columbus City Council Moves Meetings to a Fully Virtual Environment
Council Proactively Moves All Meetings Online in Response to Increase in COVID-19 Cases
[COLUMBUS, OH] In response to growing number of COVID-19 cases locally, Columbus City Council made the decision to move its scheduled regular and zoning meetings to a fully virtual environment. Council President Shannon G. Hardin, the other six members and department directors will appear via WebEx and broadcast to the livestream into the meeting, with nobody appearing in person within Council Chambers.
“We must put the health and safety of our community first," said Council President Shannon G. Hardin. "As we move forward to conduct the business of the City, we will continue to do so responsibly."
Residents have full access to Council by participating via web, email or mail.
The meetings are live-streamed on Council's Facebook page, the CTV website, YouTube and broadcast on Spectrum, Channel 1024; WOW, Channel 3 and AT&T U-verse, Channel 99. The meetings are also available on the City of Columbus YouTube channel following conclusion of the live broadcast.
TESTIFYING DURING REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
Until further notice, Columbus City Council meetings will be held in a teleconference format, with members attending via WebEx. While the standard protocols and practices for considering legislation will be followed, interested parties seeking to testify at the meeting are advised as follows:
- Any residents seeking to submit testimony in favor of or in opposition to an ordinance may submit their testimony in writing to the City Clerk. Written testimony must be received by 3pm on the day of the meeting. Testimony should be emailed to [email protected]
- Testimony can also be mailed to Columbus City Council, Attn: City Clerk Speaker testimony, 90 West Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43215. Please include contact information (email preferably) and the ordinance/resolution number that you wish to address.
- All parties wishing to speak during Council meeting via WebEx must submit an online speaker slip form available on the Council website at: www.columbus.gov/council/information/Online-Speaker-Slip/ no later than 3pm on the day of the Council meeting to request attendance at the meeting. The Clerk will provide the WebEx meeting information allowing those parties to attend the meeting electronically. Those submitting testimony must join the WebEx meeting no later than 5pm on the day of the Council meeting.
PROVIDING SWORN TESTIMONY DURING THE ZONING MEETING
Any party that is presenting testimony to Columbus City Council on a Council Variance is required to be sworn in prior to giving testimony. In order to accommodate this, parties will be required to attend the meeting via WebEx.
- All parties planning to present testimony on a Zoning Committee ordinance must email the City Clerk at [email protected] 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 6:30pm 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.
- Please note, parties attending the meeting via WebEx and that have presentations on Zoning Committee ordinances can provide those presentations using the WebEx platform. However, when emailing the Clerk to request attendance at the meeting, please attach any presentation that will be provided to Councilmembers.
OTHERS WAYS TO CONTACT CITY COUNCILMEMBERS
In lieu of submitting speaker testimony at/for the Council meeting, interested parties are also encouraged to reach out to Councilmember offices by phone in advance of council meetings to share concerns or support. Contact information for individual Councilmember offices can be found at columbus.gov/council/Contact-City-Council/.