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The public attends the Athens City Council meeting in Athens City Hall on Monday, February 3, 2020.

City Council urges Ohio Lawmakers to allow continuance of remote council meetings

The Athens City Council met on Monday to discuss legislation that urges the Ohio Legislature to continue to allow remote governmental meetings.

Council President Chris Knisley said legislature passed in March that allows City Council to meet remotely, SB365, is set to expire on Dec. 1.

Council members were in agreement that Athens City Council should not be meeting in person during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Scott Thompson, director of the government channel, said that if Council were to meet in person, up to eight people would be able to attend the meetings and maintain social distancing.

Councilmember Jeff Risner, D-2nd Ward, expressed concern about how Council would decide what members of the public get to attend these meetings

“If only eight people of the public can get in there, how then do we say which eight get in? You're getting a can of worms open here and I don't think any of the scenarios work out very well in terms of public health,” Risner said.

Councilmember Chris Fahl, D-4th Ward, said public participation may be larger for City Council since people do not have to physically attend meetings to participate currently.


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