Bellefontaine City Council members announced at their Tuesday evening meeting that upcoming sessions of the council will not be accessible to the public in person, but instead, the meetings will be broadcast through Facebook Live through the mayor or service safety director’s Facebook page during the COVID-19 emergency.
Beginning with the April 14 meeting, the live broadcast will begin with the start of the council meeting at 7:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month and will conclude immediately following the adjourning of business. All meetings will follow the standard, pre-existing agenda and will still be recorded by the clerk.
Members noted that the special hearing concerning annexation scheduled for April 14 will continue as planned, but also will not be open to the public in-person, and will be made available through Facebook Live as well.
For the upcoming sessions, comments or communications from the public may still be heard by the council during the meetings by submitting the information to the clerk via e-mail at bellefontainecouncilclerk. The information should be submitted no later than 6 p.m. on the Sunday immediately preceding regularly scheduled meetings in order to allow the clerk time to prepare the comments to be provided to members of council and read into the record.
Any comments or communications submitted should contain the full name and address of the individual submitting the comment or communication to be read to council.
Failure to provide this information will be cause for excluding the comment or communication from the record.
Additionally, all comments and communications are subject to the council president’s review and approval for decency and decorum prior to being read into the record.
For the upcoming meetings, members of council are expected to attend, in-person, unless their absence is excused under council rules or otherwise prohibited by order of the state or federal government.
Department heads and other non-essential members of administration should not attend unless specifically requested by council. Any reports from department heads, Dayton Power & Light, or Economic Development should be submitted to the mayor in writing by 6 p.m. the Sunday immediately preceding regularly scheduled council meetings.
At this time, members of the press are still permitted to attend council meetings and sit in the gallery, but will be limited to local media only with one representative from each institution.
Any necessary executive sessions will occur, as they have in the past, with the council identifying the reason for executive session, identifying those participating in the executive session, and voting to enter into executive session on the record, at which point the live feed will stop.
Upon the conclusion of any executive session, the live feed will recommence until the conclusion of council business.
Committee meetings will continue as determined necessary by each respective committee chair. If meetings are necessary, committee chairs are requested to follow the federal, state, and local recommended guidelines relating to “social distancing.”
All committee members will continue to abide by Ohio Sunshine laws in terms of notice of meetings.
The council reserves the right to modify the parameters and procedures as the COVID-19 pandemic develops and in compliance with the federal, state and local directives.