City of Clermont Launches Semi-Virtual City Council Meetings
Public May Submit Questions, Watch Live Online
CLERMONT (April 11, 2020) – The City of Clermont is launching semi-virtual city council meetings until further notice.
The first one will be at 6:30 p.m. Tues., April 14. The meetings will be hosted via Zoom video conferencing and will be broadcasted live on the city’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/CityofClermontGovernment.
“This solution allows us to continue conducting city business while taking proper health and safety precautions regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19),” Mayor Gail Ash said.
Elected officials and city staff may connect to the video conference from devices in separate rooms in City Hall or elsewhere. The public may submit questions beforehand or may speak during the meeting from City Council Chambers, where they also may watch a live projection of the meeting on the screen.
“We tested out this format during our April 7 council workshop and were pleased with how smoothly everything went,” City Manager Darren Gray said.
Here are the details on the public’s options to address the council:
- Speak at the podium in City Council Chambers of City Hall, 685 W. Montrose St., during the meeting’s public comments portion. City staff will provide and operate technology to connect the audio to a live conference feed. The city will follow CDC guidelines and take precautions for a safe environment.
- Email a question or comment to firstname.lastname@example.org before the meeting begins. Staff will read the statement during the meeting’s public comments portion.
- Mail or deliver a written note to City Hall by 2 p.m. the day of the meeting. Staff will read the statement during the meeting’s public comments portion.
Instructions and details also are available on www.ClermontFL.gov. The meeting agenda is available on the city website and will be posted on the exterior doors of City Hall.
City staff will ensure that no more than 10 people are in the chambers at once and that attendees stay at least 6 feet apart. Any staff member interacting with the public will wear a cloth face covering, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the city asks attendees to wear cloth face coverings, too.
The new format allows the council to have public meetings while following orders from Gov. Ron DeSantis and the CDC regarding staying at home, social distancing and avoiding group gatherings. All of these measures help slow the spread of COVID-19. Council meetings are needed to conduct city business, such as delivering essential services, protecting property owners’ interests and preserving the health, welfare and safety of the public.
The governor’s Executive Order 20-69 suspended the requirements of a quorum to be present in person and of a local government body to meet at a specific public place; the order also allows local governments to use communications media technology, such as telephone and video conferencing, for local government meetings.
City services continue online and by phone whenever possible. The city’s main line at 352-394-4081 continues to be answered from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
All City of Clermont facilities remain closed through April 30 except the trails. All events and programs at city facilities are canceled until May 11. These dates are subject to change.
Everyone can do their part to help slow the spread of this emerging respiratory disease; stay home when you can, and if you must go out, practice social distancing and wear a cloth face covering, as recommended by the CDC.