Langley City committees and task forces can resume in-person meetings, after council rescinded a resolution that restricted them to videoconferencing during the pandemic.
A report to council by Corporate Officer Kelly Kenney said with health restrictions easing, some committee members were asking for a return to in-person sessions, citing a “sense of disconnection and lack of cohesiveness felt in not being able to be present together in one room.”
Council gave quick approval to the proposal to permit in-person meetings on April 25.
It means the City Advisory Design Panel, Arts, Recreation, Culture And Heritage Committee, Board Of Variance, Crime Prevention Committee, Environmental Sustainability Committee, Youth Advisory Committee, Economic Development Task Group and Performing Arts And Cultural Centre Task Group have the option of resuming in-person meetings.
Any such meetings would still be governed by the City policy that requires proof of vaccination, which states “all employees, contractors, and volunteers must be fully vaccinated.”
Council meetings are expected to remain electronic.
“Given that little to no negative feedback has been received with respect to holding regular and special council meetings and public hearings by electronic means, no change from council’s previous direction, as referenced in this report, is being sought at this time,” the Kenney report to council remarked.
Kenney noted that the “increased flexibility and ease of access for both council members and members of the public to attend meetings” has actually improved participation.
“The City has seen an increase in number of members of the public attending regular council meetings, committee meetings, and public hearings since moving to an electronic meeting format,” Kenney noted.
Council approved $120,000 in the 2022 budget to update the council chamber audio/visual systems to allow hybrid meetings that combine in-person/electronic participation by Council members and members of the public.
Langley Township has been holding hybrid meetings since last year.
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