Hybrid City Council Meetings Start May 23, 2022

Burien City Council Meetings Offer In-person and Virtual Participation
Posted on 05/19/2022
Burien City Council Hybrid Meetings: Photos of Councilmembers and Council Chambers.

Burien community members will be able to attend Burien City Council meetings in person starting May 23, 2022. Meetings will continue to be broadcast via Zoom, on the Burien TV channel (Channel 21 Comcast), and online at burienwa.gov/tv.

The Burien City Council approved Resolution No. 480 at their May 16, 2022 meeting, making the hybrid meeting format a permanent procedure. The resolution also allows the City Council to reschedule meetings that fall on a holiday. Previously, those meetings were automatically canceled.

The new hybrid meeting format allows City Councilmembers, City staff, and community members to participate both in-person and virtually. People are encouraged to sign-up to provide public comment (whether in person or via Zoom), or they may submit written comment prior to each meeting. Instructions for how to join the Zoom meeting are at the top of every City Council meeting agenda.

“We found that many people enjoy having virtual access to City Council meetings. The City is pleased to return to in-person meetings, allowing another option for our community to participate, especially those who prefer in-person meetings and for people with limited internet access. Our goal with this hybrid approach is that we are broadening access to the city council processes for a larger array of people,” said Carolyn Hope, Interim City Manager.

On March 24, 2022, Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1329 broadened the Open Public Meetings Act in Washington, allowing for the permanent use of virtual technology to conduct business.

New technology will support hybrid format

The City Council approved funding to upgrade the technology, including new meeting management software, audio-visual equipment, and new cameras, in the Council Chambers in the 2019-2020 budget. The technology upgrade, originally designed to provide an enhanced experience for people attending meetings in-person, was completed in early 2020, but state-issued public health restrictions prevented City Council meetings from being held in person.

In 2021, City staff upgraded the technology in the Council Chambers again to prepare for both in-person and virtual participation during City Council meetings. In early 2022, the City was prepared to support both virtual and in-person participation, but a flood from the third floor damaged essential equipment, delaying the launch of the new hybrid meeting format.

After replacing equipment and repairing damage, City staff implemented a test hybrid format during the May 2, 2022 and May 16, 2022 City Council regular business meetings.

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