For Immediate Release
Contact: Ellen Lander Nischt, Press Secretary & Senior Strategic CounselELander@akronohio.gov or 330-375-2325
A livestream broadcast of the meeting will be available at AkronCityCouncil.org
Akron, Ohio, April 2, 2020 – Last month, Akron City Council took steps to protect the health and safety of Council members and the public by suspending all regularly scheduled in-person City Council meetings and moving all future meetings to a virtual format, throughout the duration of the State of Ohio Stay at Home Order. Today, Akron City Council is announcing its first virtual meeting, which will take place April 6, 2020 at 7:00 PM.
During the March 20th special meeting, Akron City Council passed legislation to enable Council to meet remotely, and urged the Ohio General Assembly to clarify that these virtual meetings satisfy the requirements of the Open Meetings Act. As required by law, City Council also passed the City’s annual operating budget, subject to later amendment, by a vote of 9-0-1 (Councilman Russ Neal abstaining), which was critical to continuing City operations and services.
The State took action last week, through Ohio House Bill 197, to clearly authorize public bodies to meet via teleconference or videoconference. “We are now in a position where Council can meet remotely, with the confidence that we are complying with the law and, most importantly, maintaining access to the public,” President Sommerville said. “Therefore, we will be holding out first virtual Akron City Council meeting on Monday, April 6th at 7:00 PM.”
Council members will be able to remotely attend the meeting from their own offices or residences, in order to comply with social distancing orders. Members of the public or press who wish to observe Monday’s City Council meeting may do so, in real-time, by watching a livestream broadcast of the City Council meeting available through the Akron City Council website. General questions or comments for City Council to consider may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
These emergency measures are being implemented to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the general public. Akron City Council will continue to conduct virtual meetings until it is deemed safe by local and state health officials to again meet in person. City Council leadership plans to call virtual Council meetings, on a bi-weekly basis or as needed, to ensure that City business continues during this challenging time. Notices will be issued in advance of each meeting.
“We still have urgent needs in the community and essential services to provide to our residents,” President Sommerville said. “Akron City Council will meet virtually, as needed, to ensure that City business continues uninterrupted.”
To stay up-to-date on City of Akron specific COVID-19 news, please visit www.akronohio.gov/COVID19. Please note that information on the Akron City Council website is in the process of being revised, and up-to-date meeting information will be available soon.