ITHACA, N.Y. –– As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across Tompkins County, City government has reinstated remote participation in Common Council meetings after returning to full in-person gathering just one month ago.

“Due to the increased number of COVID infections in Tompkins County, the City of Ithaca is taking additional safety measures to reduce risk during Common Council meetings,” an announcement from officials states.

The announcement outlines the new safety measures including a reduction and reconfiguration of audience seating in Common Council chambers to allow for appropriate social distancing, and a reinstatement of the option for people to participate in the public comment portion of the meeting remotely.

According to officials, “remote speakers will be called upon after the speakers in attendance at the meeting.”

The option is also being offered to presenters and those directly associated with items on the agenda, including staff members. 

For those interested in participating virtually, at 9:00 a.m. on the day of the Common Council meeting, a link will be live on the Common Council webpage for people to register to speak.

Registration will close at 3:00 p.m. in order to allow time to calculate how long each person will be allowed to speak (the first hour of each meeting has been set aside for speakers.) After you register, you will be emailed a link to a Zoom meeting later that day. Use that link to sign in and enter the meeting. You will be selected to speak in the order that you were registered.

As a note –– you must be present in the meeting when it is your turn to speak or you will forfeit your time. You can use video or telephone to participate. 

For those who want to still attend in-person, note that masks must be worn by everyone regardless of vaccination status in all City facilities.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at alamb@ithacavoice.com