No-contact council meetings are coming to Langley City and Township.
On Monday, March 23, Langley City mayor Val van den Broek chaired a council meeting by telephone conference call.
She was at city hall with staff, while members of council phoned in.
“It went well,” was van den Broek’s assessment.
The new practice will remain in effect during the COVID-19 virus outbreak, van den Broek said.
City Chief Administrative Officer Francis Cheung was looking into video conference systems for future council meetings.
Councillor Nathan Pachal supported the move.
“Considering COVID-19 and the pandemic, it makes sense,” Pachal commented.
Pachal said holding public hearing will be a challenge under current conditions, and he would like the provincial government to provide some direction.
Later that same day, Langley Township mayor Jack Froese won preliminary approval for a council procedure bylaw amendment that will allow them to hold council meetings electronically.
(Update: Unanimous approval was given to the bylaw during a meeting on Friday, March 27. Council can now hold its meetings online using Zoom video conferencing services.)
“The threat of COVID-19 is causing things to change rapidly and constantly, and council is taking measures to stay on top of the situation,” Froese said.
He was speaking in council chambers, where some councillors were sitting at the delegation and press tables instead of the council table to ensure social distancing.