Due to COVID-19 Jefferson County Department of Health officer orders, the City of Vestavia Hills has moved forward with internet interfacing and teleconferencing of meetings and public hearing. For participation instructions (links, phone numbers, etc.) visit individual board pages. This model is intended for City Council meetings, as well as other City boards/commissions:
- The agenda should be limited to items that need to be immediately considered by the City Council for a particular meeting that is affected by public health orders. The determination for items to be included on the City Council agenda should be made by the Mayor and the City Manager upon input of all Council members
- Prior to the meeting, the Zoom videoconference option (as scheduled by the City Manager) along with a phone number for a teleconference option shall be published with an access code so that anyone participating can remotely join and comment during the meeting. This information is relayed through public notice which also references a web page designated off of the “Alert Center” section of the website and further mentioned in a “callout” on the agenda. Those Council or Board members who are unable to physically attend the meeting are encouraged to utilize the Zoom videoconferencing option.
- Department Heads, applicants and anyone not critical to the running of the meeting should be encouraged to utilize video or audio conferencing rather than attend physically.
- The Mayor, City Manager and City Clerk should be physically present in order to preside over the meeting. If any other Councilors wish to attend, three (counting the Mayor) can be physically located on the dais. Any other Councilors attending along with the City Attorney (should he attend) can be situated within the available seating in the Chamber. The Mayor will open by giving the parameters of the meeting including the procedure in which each case will be heard, the requirement of any speaker to self-identify and await recognition from the Chair before making statements.
- If relying upon §36-25A-5.1, a quorum of the Board should be physically present (as defined shall be a majority of the Board). If more votes are required to approve/deny any item, the other needed votes may be done via audio/video on a roll call vote.
- All participants physically present, including the Council, staff, audience, etc., shall be seated a minimum distance so as to maintain “social distancing.” Any audience members that cannot be physically separated within the social distancing confines, will be encouraged to go to their vehicle and participate by means of telephone. An individual will be stationed at the entrance to the Chamber in order to seat and ensure attendees adhere to “social distancing” requirements and to distribute teleconferencing information as needed.
- It will be incumbent upon the Mayor to carefully maneuver the meeting to ensure that every speaker is heard and identified. This might require additional time than a normal meeting so everyone must be patient for the meeting to remain in order.
- All participants shall be repeatedly reminded to adhere to the following: (1) Do NOT put the phone on hold, as music and other sounds will distract from the meeting; (2) participants should be aware and try to minimize any background noise on their end, i.e. dogs, kids, conversations, etc.; and (3) no participant should be driving, if in a vehicle the vehicle should be stationary, also to avoid background noises.
- In coordination with the Mayor presiding, the City Manager shall direct the Zoom meeting and mute individuals as needed or encourage participants to self-mute until needed to speak. He is also responsible for any information that needs to be placed on the screen for viewing.
- The Clerk’s office will take all actions necessary to contact applicants to ensure that all are familiar with presentation of their cases. These have already been scheduled; any upcoming cases will be delayed as much as possible.
- Internal testing has proven that the Council Chambers appears to be acoustically feasible for hearing comments from all Council members, phone callers and speakers at the podium. The video equipment may also be used that will be archived to show and hear the speakers, public hearings, etc.
- Meetings will proceed as normal with a motion and a second with each speaker identified. The Mayor, City Manager or City Clerk will make the presentation of each item. Any supporting information will be obtained by the applicant, etc., via telephone. Board members will have information on screen in the Chambers, other board members will be asked to have the information in front of them via personal PC, laptop, iPad, etc. Since the agendas are posted with all supporting documentation ahead of time, the public also has the opportunity to view the information and comment.
- If possible, the Council meeting will be videotaped as usual and be livestreamed for purposes of managing attendance limitations.
- At the end of the meeting, the agenda will be utilized as an expedited meeting synopsis along with supplementary notes as to the actions taken by the Council or Board, members participating, and time of adjournment. It will be posted to the website within 12 hours of the conclusion of the meeting pursuant to Alabama law.
- These guidelines are subject to change with meeting experience.
END SPECIAL NOTICE
The Vestavia Hills City Council meets at 6pm on the second and fourth Monday of the month except on holidays and in the event of inclement weather. The minutes of past meetings are included in the agenda packet for the next meeting. To view agenda packets prior to those shown on the Agendas and Packets link, follow the Archive link. For agenda packets prior to the online Archive, contact the City Clerk.
To have an item included on the agenda, contact the City Clerk by noon the Wednesday prior to the meeting. An open period of public comment is held at the end of each regular City Council meeting.