This week the Longmont City Council will consider returning to a virtual format after Boulder County Public Health’s recent mask requirement.
When the pandemic was at its height in March of 2020, the Longmont City Council announced it would move its meetings to a virtual format. In doing so the council had to adopt a Policy for Electronic Participation in council meetings, according to a staff report.
Virtual meetings continued through June 2021.
Although BCPH announced a public health order requiring unvaccinated individuals to wear masks indoors on Aug. 24, the Longmont City Council voted against — in a 3-4 vote with Polly Christensen, Susie Hiladago-Fahring, Aren Rodriguez and Joan Peck dissenting — returning to virtual meetings.
On Sept. 3, BCPH issued an order requiring everyone 2-years-old and older to wear a mask while indoors. And now the council must once again choose whether or not to return to a virtual meeting format.
During last week’s city council meeting, Councilmember Marcia Martin said she wished to return to virtual meetings since the city was not able to obtain the services of a sign language interpreter.
Mayor Brian Bagley was also in favor of returning to virtual meetings because he does not like wearing masks at the meetings.
In the event that council chooses to return to virtual meetings, the city staff will draft a modified Policy for Electronic Participation. The prior policy allows for virtual meetings only when the Emergency Operations Center has been activated under the pandemic or a declaration of emergency, according to the staff report.
Longmont’s City Manager Harold Dominguez removed the city’s emergency declaration on Aug. 9.