City returning to online meetings due to COVID-19

City Commissioners are moving their meetings to Zoom due to the rise in COVID-19 cases.

The links to the Zoom meetings are listed on the top of each agenda posted on the city website.

City Commission members, city staff and presenters will attend the meetings virtually beginning Sept. 7 and remain in this format until further notice.

In-person participation will not be provided.

During the Aug. 17 commission meeting, Mayor Bob Kelly said that he wanted to go back to Zoom meetings due to COVID and said “I don’t feel safe,” sitting in the chambers with the public, regardless of vaccination status. “I don’t want to compromise my health and I don’t want to compromise yours,” he said.

Residents can submit public comment in writing.

“Written submissions are the most efficient way for the public to relay comments for Commission consideration. Zoom and phone-in options are also available. Please note that the call-in option may not be the most ideal option as there may be significant waiting times depending on how many calls are in the queue,” according to a city release.

 To streamline resident participation, the city has developed a guide for commission meetings: 

WATCH MEETINGS

PARTICIPATE and COMMENT

Register and join the meetings via Zoom:

  • Links to Zoom are listed on the top of each agenda posted at: https://greatfallsmt.net/meetings. Public attendees may offer comments through video using a computer, mobile device or through calling in using a phone number provided through Zoom. Attendees will be called upon by the mayor during public comment portions of the meeting utilizing a queuing system.

Provide public comments in writing

“Remember to include the agenda item or agenda item number in the subject line, and include the name of the commenter and either an address or whether the commenter is a city resident. Please ensure that comments arrive before 12 p.m. on the day of the meeting. Due to tracking and dissemination requirements, written communication must be received by that time in order to be shared with the City Commission and appropriate city staff for consideration during the agenda item and before final vote on the matter; and, will be so noted in the official record of the meeting,” according to the city release. 

Participate by phone

  • Call in during specific public comment periods at 406-761-4786.

“Note that the call-in option may not be the most ideal option as there may be significant waiting times depending on how many calls are in the queue. The public would need to watch the meeting through the viewing methods listed above and call in when prompted by the mayor. Calls will be taken in the order in which they are received. Callers will be restricted to customary time limits, e.g., if there are five callers in the queue, a person may be on hold for approximately 25 minutes. Zoom pre-registering to phone in for meeting participation is the preferred method,” according to a city release.