In accordance with the most recent Health Order issued by Gov. Ivey, the City of Vestavia Hills is offers in-person attendance as well as remote access to City meetings and public hearings, including City Council work sessions and meetings, and other City board meetings. To participate remotely:
Video: Visit the corresponding City calendar entry for the meeting your wish to attend and click the provided Zoom link or see list below. When the Zoom.us window opens in your browser, click “Allow” so that the meeting page may open. Zoom requires that all participants enter a “waiting room” until the meeting begins. Participants will then be admitted to the meeting and will be muted upon entrance. If you wish to speak during time(s) identified for public input, activate the “Raise Hand” feature and unmute yourself by toggling the mute button. When you are officially recognized and given the floor, state your name and address for the record and then you may address the Council or board.
– Board of Zoning Adjustment: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7970217974 or dial 312.626.6799; enter meeting ID: 797 021 7974 (one-touch dialing: +13126266799,,7970217974#)
– Design Review Board: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7970217974 or dial 312.626.6799; enter meeting ID: 797 021 7974 (one-touch dialing: +13126266799,,7970217974#)
– Planning and Zoning Board: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7970217974 or dial 312.626.6799; enter meeting ID: 797 021 7974 (one-touch dialing: +13126266799,,7970217974#)
– Standing Annexation Board: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7970217974 or dial 312.626.6799; enter meeting ID: 797 021 7974 (one-touch dialing: +13126266799,,7970217974#)
Using the icons on the Zoom screen, you can:
• Mute/unmute your microphone (far left)
• Turn on/off camera (“Start/Stop Video”)
• View Participants – opens a pop-out screen that includes the “Raise Hand” icon that you may use to raise a virtual hand
• Change your screen name displayed in the participant list and video window
• Toggle between “speaker” and “gallery” views – “Speaker view” shows the active speaker; “Gallery view” tiles all of the meeting participants
Phone: To participate by telephone, dial 312.626.6799 and enter the meeting ID or click the One-touch Dial link. Zoom requires that all participants enter a “waiting room” until the meeting begins. Participants will then be admitted to the meeting and will be muted upon entrance. If you wish to speak during time(s) identified for public input, press *6 on your phone keypad to unmute yourself. When you are officially recognized and given the floor, state your name and address for the record and then you may address the Council or board.
Text/Email: If you do not wish to join the meeting but would like to ask a question or make a statement regarding an item on a City Council meeting or work session agenda, you may email the City Council directly at City.Council@vhal.org. You may also text your question/statement to City Council at 205.517.1370. Both of these options are available prior to and during each work session and meeting. Be sure to provide your name and address for the record and your comments will be recited as the corresponding item is being addressed. Note: As a matter of record, your name and address are required. If identification is not provided, your comment/question will not be presented.
The following model is intended to apply to Vestavia Hills 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. Council or Board members should attend the meeting through the Zoom videoconferencing option or, if unavailable, by calling in via telephone.
- Department Heads, applicants and anyone not critical to the running of the meeting should be encouraged to utilize video or audio conferencing rather than attending physically.
- For City Council meetings, the City Manager and City Clerk shall be physically present in order to preside over the meeting. A Police Officer will be stationed at the door in order to assist anyone physically attending to ensure he/she is seated in accordance with the State’s Order.
- Pursuant to the Order, a quorum of the Council or Board may be obtained digitally, as there is no requirement that they be physically present. Votes of the Council/Board shall 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 required “social distancing.” Any audience members that cannot be physically separated within the social distancing confines, will be encouraged by the attending Police Officer to go to their vehicle and participate via telephone.
- It will be incumbent upon the Mayor and/or Chairperson 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, to avoid background noises. All participants must identify themselves during a public hearing and be recognized by the Mayor and/or Chairperson.
- 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. For other Boards, the City Clerk and/or City Planner shall direct the Zoom meetings as the Chairperson presides.
- 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, for purpose 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.