Mayor announces changes for City Council meetings due to ‘spike in COVID cases’

Mayor announces changes for City Council meetings due to ‘spike in COVID cases’
Mayor Cranley

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The public participation portion of upcoming City Council meetings will change because of a “spike” in coronavirus cases, Mayor John Cranley announced.

Under a new emergency order issued by the mayor and health officials, some participants will be heard via Zoom while the number of in-person speakers allowed inside at the same time will be limited.

In an email sent to City Council members, Mayor Cranley cited a recent “spike” in coronavirus cases as well as Hamilton County “being identified as a hotspot,” as the reason for this order.

“We are all committed to hearing all voices that want to weigh in on the budget this week,” the mayor wrote. “Due to the spike in COVID cases we have learned about in recent days and Hamilton County being identified as a hotspot, we are taking extra precautions to protect the health of all those who wish to participate in public comment as we pass the budget.”

Each person wishing to speak during the meetings, whether in-person or virtual, will have to pre-register online, according to the order.

Once registered, you will be assigned a two-minute time slot to speak.

The first 40 minutes of each hour will be allotted to 20 in-person speakers, the order reads.

Twenty minutes will then be given to 10 virtual participants once in-person comments conclude.

According to the mayor, all meetings at City Hall Chambers will have a limit of 20 in-person speakers at any one time. Twenty more people will be rotated into Chambers until every speaker has had a chance to speak.

People who register to speak in-person will need to be in City Hall 10 minutes before their scheduled time and will need to exit the building once they are done, under the order.

This order will be in effect for Monday’s 1 p.m. Budget and Finance Committee meeting.

The deadline to register to speak for Monday’s meeting is 10 a.m.

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