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.
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.”
At Monday’s meeting, city officials elected in 2022 will be sworn in, including the mayor, councilors Linda Nishioka, Deanna Gwyn, Julie Hoy and Micki Varney, and Municipal Court judge Eleanor Beatty.
Agenda items will include:
- The airport commercial air service readiness project.
- Board and commission appointments.
- An agreement with the Salem Mass Transit District (Cherriots) for the Youth Fare Program.
- FEMA funding from the Emergency Management Performance Grant.
The meeting is at 6 p.m. It will be held in person at the City Council Chambers at the Salem Civic Center at 555 Liberty St. SE and can also be watched on Comcast Cable CCTV Channel 21 or on the Salem YouTube channel in English/American Sign Language and Spanish.
Those wishing to comment in person can sign-up on the rosters at the chamber entrance before the start of the meeting.
Written public comments on agenda items can be emailed by 5 p.m. Monday to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or pre-register between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday at cityofsalem.net/Pages/Public-Comment-at-Salem-City-Council-Meeting.aspx to speak during the meeting via Zoom.