A Guide to Participating in Virtual Council Meetings
Please refer to this document for the most comprehensive information on how to use Zoom for the City of Bath's virtual online public meetings. Read the information below in its entirety. We appreciate your willingness to learn this technology enough to be able to use it well, which will help us ensure community members can follow along and participate remotely. Fortunately, it is straightforward and user-friendly.
ZOOM MEETING OPERATIONS OVERVIEW
- The City of Bath will be using Zoom’s Webinar feature for virtual online public meetings. Learn more about Zoom HERE. The webinar feature divides participants into attendees and panelists.
- City Councilors, Committee members, and/or City staff are panelists. Members of the public who join a Zoom meeting are attendees. In the webinar format everyone is allowed to speak at designated times during the meeting.
- The meeting is “run” by a host or hosts. Generally, the committee or Council Chair and a staff person serve as hosts. The role of the host is to manage the meeting.
- The City will provide a web link to access meetings on the meeting event post (view on City homepage) prior to the meeting. You may also use a phone to access meetings (see details below).
HOW TO INSTALL ZOOM
To access all the features of Zoom, you will need to install Zoom on your device. For those using tablets to view the remote meetings, you can download the Zoom application from the Apple App Store here, or from Google Play here, depending on your device. You can download the Zoom application for laptop/desktop here. If you call in by phone, there is no need to install Zoom. Zoom offers several trainings to help users navigate the platform. View them here.
HOW TO WATCH/PARTICIPATE IN THE MEETING
The City of Bath offers multiple ways to watch and participate in virtual City Council meetings:
- Watch and/or participate in the meeting directly in Zoom by joining the meeting as an attendee. To join a Zoom meeting, follow the link on the Council meeting event post.
- Dial in to the meeting with your phone. This method will also allow you to participate in public comment opportunities. The toll-free dial-in numbers for each meeting will be posted prior to each meeting on the Council meeting agenda.
- Watch the broadcast on BCTV, local channel 14 or view the live stream of the meeting here. These broadcast methods will NOT allow viewers to participate in the meeting. Do not try to simultaneously watch the broadcast and participate via Zoom as there will be a delay.
Zoom allows you, an attendee, the opportunity to speak during public comment periods. During public comment you will be asked to use the “raise your hand” function to speak. Click on the “raise your hand” option if connecting via a device or, dial *9 if connecting by phone. The Chair of the meeting will acknowledge each attendee raising their hand in turn. When you are acknowledged, the Chair will unmute your microphone. You will be required to “accept” this action on your device. At that point, as in regular public meetings, state your name and address prior to asking a question or making a comment. When you are finished speaking, the Chair will again mute your microphone and you will be unable to speak further unless you utilize the “raise your hand” function again.
To ensure privacy during Executive Session, we will observe the following procedures:
- A separate, private Zoom meeting for Executive Session will be created.
- Once a motion to move to Executive Session is approved in the public Zoom meeting, participants in Executive Session will exit the public meeting.
- Staying in the Zoom app, participants in Executive Session will then join the private meeting created for executive session.
- Executive Session is done securely in private.
- Once Executive Session is complete, participants will leave the private Zoom meeting and re-join the public meeting using their panelist join-link for any potential report from Executive Session and adjournment in front of the public.
For more information or questions, please contact Marc Meyers at firstname.lastname@example.org.