Cottonwood Shores city council members will “err on the side of caution” and continue meeting by teleconference, at least through June, they voted at a meeting Thursday, June 4.
Councilman Roger Wayson noted that Burnet County recently had recorded two more coronavirus cases and said there’s been a recent spike in the cases reported.
“I’m with Roger on this,” said Councilman Michael Hibdon. “I’d like to see us continue ... at least through June.”
Hibdon cited a feeling that the teleconferenced meetings might have encouraged attendance, though no hard data seem to exist on the matter.
“I think we have city people who would want to attend who are going to attend by Zoom anyway,” he said. Zoom is the computer program widely used to make the meetings available online.
Mayor Pro-Tem Cheri Trinidad and Councilman Gary Parsons agreed that the online meetings should continue and a motion passed unanimously. Council Member Brigitte Thomas was absent for this part of the meeting.
Mayor Donald On cautioned that the online meetings were started as a result of the need to retain social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gov. Greg Abbott suspended parts of the Texas Open Meetings Law to allow the technology.
The ability to continue “will depend on what the governor decides, whether to allow it to continue,” he said.
There would seem to be no prohibition to retaining the online process even after the city returns to meetings in person, however.
That practice could allow more participation in government, since residents could “attend” meetings from home or office.