Public Meetings during COVID-19

Back in May, when City staff started planning for the City’s first public City Council meeting, none of us expected the meeting to be centered on one of the most controversial issues to face the City in recent years: Discussing whether to place an item on the ballot in November asking the City voters if they want to change the name of Fort Bragg. We considered closing the meeting to the public for health and safety reasons. However, because we know many members of the public want to participate in this decision, the City will conduct the meeting in person but with some additional options for participation from afar. The in-person meeting is scheduled for 6:00pm at Town Hall, 363 N. Main Street, Fort Bragg, California. Further, to ensure that there is ample time for public comment, this item will be the only conduct of business item on the June 22, 2020 regular City Council Agenda. 

In order to conduct the in-person meeting in a safe manner and comply with the Mendocino County Health Officer’s current Order, we will require social distancing, face coverings, limit the capacity in Town Hall to 25% of normal and have hand sanitizer available, which we encourage you to use. To provide for social distancing, the number of staff attending in person will be limited. Zoom will be available for staff and for Councilmembers who prefer to continue to Shelter-in-Place. For members of the public who would also like to Shelter-in-Place, meetings as always can be viewed on Comcast Channel 3 or live-streamed from the City’s website. Members of the public may also watch the meeting after the fact - in reruns on Channel 3 or by accessing the archived meetings from the City’s legislative platform via the City’s website: cityfortbragg.legistar.com

If you are interested in providing public comment, for non-agenda items, consent calendar items or on the topic of a possible ballot measure to change the name of Fort Bragg, you have a number of ways to participate. Both remote and in-person options are available. First, you may submit your comments through the City’s online eComment agenda feature. Second way is to submit written comments to the City Clerk, June Lemos, at 416 N. Franklin Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437 or by email to cityclerk@fortbragg.com. Third way to submit comments, is to use Zoom by accessing the link from the meeting agenda posted on the City’s website cityfortbragg.com. Please note that if you choose to submit public comments using the Zoom option, you will not be able to watch the ongoing meeting from this link. Members of the public will remain in the waiting room until their turn to speak. Depending on your own computer settings, you will have the option for voice and/or video.

The final way to submit comments is the old fashion way – in person. If you choose to participate in person, please remember that occupancy in Town Hall is limited and seating will be first come, first served. You will be required to wear a face covering. If occupancy of the building is at social distancing limit, you may have to wait outside Town Hall. An audio speaker will broadcast the meeting into the courtyard south of Town Hall and public speakers will be asked to cycle through so that everyone has a chance to participate.

As we continue to reopen City government, we ask for your patience and understanding. These precautions are to ensure that everyone feels safe and to minimize any unnecessary risk in participating in the public process.

— Tabatha Miller, Fort Bragg City Manager

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.