Salem City Hall's open, U-shaped design, where citizens could “watch government happen,” encloses a central courtyard covered with plexiglass roofing.

After holding virtual-only meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic — followed by further delays due to complications with the hybrid meeting technology — Salem City Council will resume in-person meetings Monday at City Hall for the first meeting of the new year.

The city stopped meeting in person in March 2020 as COVID-19 hit the region. They briefly resumed hybrid meetings in August 2021 but encountered technical difficulties with having people engage in the meeting virtually.

After lengthy supply chain challenges, the council chambers are now equipped to provide hybrid meetings that allow participation both in person and online, city staff said.

Council chambers during a meeting in 2019.

Mayor Chris Hoy said in a statement that he was excited to return to in-person meetings.

“During the pandemic, we were forced to meet virtually to keep everyone safe, but our city should be as open and accessible as possible,” he said. “As we continue our fight to provide affordable housing to our residents, shelter and services for homeless individuals, and our work to grow the local economy, meeting in person will help these conversations happen more effectively.”

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