WINCHESTER — City Council’s meeting on Tuesday is open to the public, but officials are hoping no one will attend.
Rather than risking exposure to the COVID-19 coronavirus, interested citizens are instead encouraged to watch and participate in the meeting online.
A media release from Rouss City Hall states the meeting will be streamed live at winchesterva.civicweb.net starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday. An archived video of the session will be shared to the site afterwards.
On Thursday, the city posted a link for anyone who would like to address council on a public hearing item or during the general comments portion of next week’s meeting. Statements submitted at opentownhall.com/portals/311/Issue_8423 by 8 a.m. Monday will be presented to council that same day. Comments that come in after that time will still be provided to council, but members may not have the opportunity to read them prior to Tuesday’s meeting.
Public hearing statements will be read aloud before council votes on the designated agenda items. General comments not related to public hearings will be entered as part of the meeting’s official record.
According to the city’s media release, public comments and hearings “are a time for community members to address council, not to engage in conversation or ask questions.”
“We greatly appreciate our community’s understanding during these unprecedented and difficult times,” Mayor David Smith said in the release. “It is always important to us that our community have the opportunity to participate in council meetings. That is why we are offering the online public comment form, which will allow residents and others to address council while maintaining their safety and distance during this public health crisis.”
For more information, visit winchesterva.gov.