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Parkersburg City Council will be live online

The meeting is closed to the public, except for media, as city officials work to maintain social distancing and mitigate the potential spread of the coronavirus, a pandemic that continues to alter many facets of life and society.“Paramount to it is making sure everybody is doing it as safely as possible while still being able to conduct the public’s business,” City Attorney Joe Santer said. The agenda includes three resolutions – one of which formalizes the changes to the meetings – and a proclamation from Mayor Tom Joyce recognizing April 1 as Census Day. The first resolution would close council meetings to the public as long as the state of emergency Online News declared this week by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice remains in effect. The public forum will not be held, but council meetings, as well as committee meetings, will be live-streamed on the city’s YouTube channel so citizens will still be able to observe “the conduct of the public’s business,” the resolution says.



Members of the news media are excluded from the order, due to their responsibility “to provide information to the general public.”

Santer noted there are some aspects of council business that still require citizen input, such as public hearings on the levy rates for the new fiscal year and the Community Development Block Grant and HOME Fund budgets.

At that point, the public will likely be able to participate in a separate room, with a speaker and microphone set up, to limit the number of people in one room.

“We still want to make sure that the public is protected, as well as the council and the other people that have to be there,” Santer said.

City Clerk Connie Shaffer said people wanting to contact their council members can call her office at 304-424-8490. Contact information for individual council Press Release Distribution Online Services members is listed on the city’s website, parkersburgcity.com.

The other resolutions on the agenda would authorize American Legion Post 15’s use of City Park facilities for its Fourth of July celebrations this year and next and slate council meetings for the next two months on the first and third Tuesdays instead of the traditional second and fourth.

* To watch Tuesday’s Parkersburg City Council meeting:

* Click the link posted on the city’s website and Facebook page.

* Go to youtube.com and search for “City of Parkersburg;” a result will lead to the main channel that lists all videos and current streams.

* The following address is a direct link to the City’s YouTube channel: tinyurl.com/ybque8b3

* Due to the ongoing state of emergency in West Virginia related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting is closed to the public.

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