The Duluth City Council will continue to hold all meetings online through the end of the year, it was announced Friday. The council has not met in-person since March.
“This decision was made with all of my council colleagues,” President Gary Anderson said in a statement. “As leaders, the council wants to set a good example for our community. To continue to hold our meetings virtually, we feel is a responsible way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
The council has utilized the WebEx videoconferencing service, which allows all nine members and city staff to participate in meetings from home. Members of the public can also submit comments through WebEx or by sending and email in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org. Meetings are televised on Public Access Television Channel 180.
“We have had great participation from constituents who have chosen to tune in on WebEx, in addition to all of the public comments that we have received by email," Anderson said. "It has been great to see the participation of the community not falter during such uncertain times.”
The council returns from its normal summer break on Monday, with two meetings scheduled in August and each month through the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the Duluth School Board will handle meeting attendance on a week-by-week basis. Members plan to gather in-person on Tuesday — a first since March — but the general public will not yet be allowed in the boardroom.
Comments can be submitted in advance to email@example.com or by calling 218-336-8730 no later than 4 p.m. Monday. The meeting will be streamed on YouTube and televised on Channel 187.
The St. Louis County Board of Commissioners has held several live meetings since June, leading to at-times heated debates over safety precautions. Notably, the three Duluth commissioners refused to travel to a meeting at the Hibbing courthouse this week, opting to participate via telephone due to coronavirus concerns.