UPDATE 07/25/23 — Redlands City Council unanimously agreed to continue the use of Zoom for City Council and Planning Commission meetings. Council members heard more than two dozen public comments, both in person and online, in support of keeping Zoom available for the public to comment remotely during public meetings.
REDLANDS — Access to Redlands City Council via Zoom could be coming to an end. On Tuesday, July 25, the City Council will vote on whether to limit or remove the use of Zoom for City Council and Planning Commission meetings.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, residents have used Zoom to make public comments at both City Council and Planning Commission meetings. Remote access has helped remove barriers that otherwise would prevent disenfranchised groups from participating in local government meetings. Whether for single parents, homebound seniors, or residents with disabilities, Zoom provides an additional channel to engage in local decision-making.
The agenda item presented by Mayor Eddie Tejeda, comes after the City Council meeting on July 18 was adjourned because of technical difficulties on Zoom. According to the City's attorney, the meeting must be stopped if the audio or video is not working. The meeting was paused for over an hour while the City tried to fix the audio and video issues. The City Council voted to end and reschedule the meeting for Tuesday, July 25 at 6 pm.
From July 19, 2022, through July 18, 2023, there have been two meetings disrupted by technical difficulties via Zoom. The City Council met 28 times during that period. That's about a 7% failure rate. Or, in other words, it's worked 93% of the time.
A Covid-era executive order opened access to Zoom for all City commissions, boards, and committees to meet and for the public to participate online. That order expired in 2023 and was replaced by new state legislation (AB 2449).
In January 2023, the Redlands City Council voted to continue using Zoom for the City Council and Planning Commission but stopped it for all other City commissions, boards, and committees unless to follow the exceptions in AB 2449.
Today, the City Council will once again vote on whether to continue the use of Zoom for City Council and Planning Commission Meetings.
You can make a public comment at City Hall at 35 Cajon Street or via Zoom at the link posted on the agenda.