ITHACA, N.Y.—The City of Ithaca announced on Tuesday that it would return to holding in-person meetings after Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the end of the state’s disaster emergency that began in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The end of the disaster emergency means that holding remote meetings is now, once again, a violation of the Open Meetings Law. Density considerations were not mentioned in the city’s announcement, though meetings will theoretically now be carried out at their normally scheduled times.

However, one aspect that is unclear is whether or not the city will still simulcast meetings via YouTube, as it has done since the beginning of the pandemic. There were other ways to broadcast the city’s meetings even before the pandemic, though the YouTube channel has provided higher quality than those broadcasts normally were.

The announcement seems to indicate that all but three meetings will still be broadcasted, but doesn’t say it explicitly. A request for comment from the city has not yet been answered.

“If you are required or want to participate in or view a meeting of the Planning Board, [Ithaca Landmarks Preservation Commission] or [Board of Zoning Appeals], plan to attend in person at City Hall,” the announcement said. “Comments will still be accepted by email and will be read into the record if requested. Unfortunately, we can no longer livestream or produce a video of these meetings, though we hope to have the ability to do so in the near future.”

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Education & Public Health Reporter at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com