COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The City of Columbia is taking precautionary steps during COVID-19 for its city council meetings.
The city is recommending people submit comments to the city clerk's office instead of attending the meeting because of social distancing guidelines.
Watch the stream of Monday's council meeting in the player below.
Comments can be sent to the email email@example.com. The city clerk will pass along comments to council members before the meeting.
Video of city council meetings and pre-council meetings are also will be streamed online on the city's website.
The streams will be stopped if the council goes into closed session for any reason.
A quorum attended the meeting Monday, and three council members attended the meeting by video call.
Columbia Mayor Brian Treece said the council went through training last week to see if the entire council would be able to do the meetings by video call.
Members would only be required to attend meetings in person for where there would be public hearings that mandated attendance by federal or state statute.
"I think our goal would be to limit the opportunity for there being a public meeting, both because we want to lead by example, but we also want to make sure that we're not creating an environment where people can gather in extended duration, and it's hard to do that at a public meeting that is open to everyone," Treece said.
Treece said he anticipates only topics about the city's response to COVID-19 to be on agenda items in the future.
The format of city council meetings will be different as long as the emergency declaration in the city is in place.
"The emergency bill the council will consider tonight is only limited for the duration of the emergency declaration, so when it expires, or if it is extended, afterwards we would go back to the regular operating rules and procedures," Treece said.