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Danville, VA Local Government News and Announcements

Posted on: March 31, 2020

Council to meet under social distancing guidelines

Photo of Council Chambers

City Council will meet Tuesday, April 7, as scheduled but follow social distancing guidelines amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The meeting will be held in the Council Chambers beginning at 7 p.m.

To meet the guidelines, Council Chambers will be modified, and some council members may participate remotely.

No member of the public will be allowed to be physically present during the meeting. River City TV, the city’s government access channel, will air both the business and work sessions. Watch it live on cable (Comcast channel 10 and Gamewood channel 122) or streaming on the River City TV Facebook page.

Those citizens who wish to submit a general public comment or a comment for a specific public hearing may do so by visiting this website: http://danvilleva.gov/council

“City Council is balancing social distancing practices while trying to keep its meeting accessible to the public,” City Manager Ken Larking said today. “We encourage people to use this online service to provide comments.”

Under the City Council’s rules of procedure, comments are limited to 750 words, which is the equivalent of five minutes speaking, for communications from visitors, and 400 words, which is the equivalent of three minutes speaking, for public hearings.

Citizens also may submit comments by calling a public line set up for the meeting. The phone number for the line is (434) 857-3348. 

“The comments adhering to our normal rules will be read into the minutes at the appropriate times,” Larking said.

Citizens can submit comments up until 5 p.m. on Monday, April 6.

The city is under a local state of emergency. The meeting agenda will include the ratification of the emergency declaration and a resolution that allows for temporary changes to specified deadlines and how public meetings are conducted to continue operations.

To meet the social distancing guidelines, at least two members of the City Council will participate in the meeting electronically by using a conference line.

“Since we are in a declared state of emergency, we are allowed to have meetings electronically with members of Council able to be counted as present and fully participate as if they are physically present,” Larking said. “We want to have three members sit on each side of the dais with no staff members at their regular seats, which will allow for six feet of separation.”

The city manager, city attorney and city clerk will sit in the audience and step up to the podium to speak, as necessary. All department heads with agenda items will be able to call into the meeting and participate remotely by voice, should there be any questions related to their item.

Media can be physically present but must practice social distancing in Council Chambers.

The work session will also be held in Council Chambers so that it can be televised. The agenda for both the business and work sessions are available online. The direct link is https://www.danvilleva.gov/1480/MyDanville-Agendas-Minutes---AgendaQuick

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