Council ready to meet in person

The Nevada City Council is ready to begin in-person meetings.

This coming Monday will be the first time city council representatives have met in person since the March 9 meeting.

Street Department workers Mike Ackerman (left) and Austin Fortsch work on a Plexiglass partition.

“I think [meeting in person] will definitely be a good thing because sometimes you just can’t replace sitting in the same room with people,” said Mayor Brett Barker.

Several members of the Nevada Street Department have been at work this week preparing the council chambers with Plexiglass dividers between each council member’s seating area. Plexiglass partitions will also protect the mayor, city administrator, and city clerk.

Residents will be allowed to attend meetings as long as they follow social distancing guidelines. Those attending meetings are also encouraged to wear facemasks if they are able.

City Council members will not be asked to wear facemasks, and the mayor explained why.

“It’s a matter of continuing to provide meetings via Zoom for residents who aren’t comfortable coming out to a meeting yet,” he said.

Street Department Supervisor Jeremy Rydl explains to Mayor Brett Barker how the partitions have been designed.

To provide the meeting via Zoom, it will be imperative that city council members speak clearly for online listeners. “This is why the Plexiglass dividers were so important for protection, as we sit closely at the main table,” the mayor said.

When it comes to Zoom, an online program that makes video meetings between two or more people possible, Barker said the format has been working well for the City. Zoom has been utilized for meetings and for other council outreach gatherings, like the Coffee With Council on many Saturday mornings.

“I feel like we’ve had really good participation from people who want to engage in meetings that way,” Barker said.

Zoom links for meetings will continue in the foreseeable future and possibly even longer, the mayor noted. The City has also been working to make meetings available in their entirety through its YouTube channel for City of Nevada, IA, where closed captioning is offered.

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