How To Do The Public’s Business While Limiting Public Interaction

Published: Tuesday, March 17, 2020 - 2:43pm
Christina Estes/KJZZ
Phoenix City Council chambers.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, local governments are trying to continue the public’s business while limiting public interaction. 

For the next week, Phoenix canceled council policy sessions and subcommittee meetings. That’s where issues are often discussed before they’re voted on during formal council meetings. Councilwoman Debra Stark said Wednesday’s formal meeting will go on, but the public will need to watch online at or on the city’s cable channel starting at 2:30 p.m.

“You’ll see the mayor and the vice mayor and they’ll be separated by a chair or two. You’ll see some city staff there-again, separated by six feet. And you will see all the rest of us calling in,” she said.

Residents can also call in and listen to the March 18 meeting by following these steps:

  • Dial 602-666-0783
  • Enter the Meeting ID 625711874#
  • Press # again when prompted for attendee ID

People can submit comments for any item on the agenda by emailing [email protected] or calling 602.262.6001 before 2 p.m. on March 18. At least two rezoning items that were expected to generate a great deal of public comment have been withdrawn and will be rescheduled.

“It’s new for all of us but we really are trying to continue to keep business going in the city but making sure that we’re protecting our residents,” Stark said.

Tempe and Surprise made similar adjustments for their council meetings this week. 

On Monday, the Trump administration revised its guidelines and recommended gatherings be limited to 10 people in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people practice "social distancing," which involves maintaining a minimum six feet of space between them.

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