JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – Two measures addressing public meeting live streaming and city council ward boundary adjustments were approved by local lawmakers in Jamestown on Monday night.
The first ordinance allows officials to record and livestream public meetings, an action that Council President Tony Dolce says has already been happening for the past few years.
This law would allow members to attend, and participate in these meetings virtually as long as a minimum number of members are physically present.
“It basically just codifies what we’ve already been doing,” explained President Dolce. “So that our boards, commissions, and our council meetings, everything is live streamed. And also we now have the ability to, if we’re sick or out of town we can zoom in on the meeting and participate on a meeting as well. We’ve already been doing this ever since COVID started, and we continue to do it even after quarantining, and all the restrictions were lifted. So, we’ve already been doing it, so this just basically made it official as part of our city charter.”
Municipalities, if they wanted to continue video conferencing, they would had to adopt a local law to authorize the continued use of live streaming in New York State.
The other local law approved council ward boundary line changes, which is reassessed every ten years following the U.S. Census.
“It’s the process of taking the city, dividing it up into six wards, and getting it back to as close to even as possible,“ stated President Dolce. “But really it is just the process of moving a street here or there to even it out.”
Before the measures take full effect, Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist will hold two sessions to gauge feedback from the community.
“So both local laws, now that they’ve been passed by city council, will go to the Mayor’s Office,“ explained Mayor Sundquist. “The Mayor then conducts a hearing, which is a public hearing on the matter. Before I can sign off on any local law or veto it, I do need to have a public hearing.”
The two hearings are scheduled for Wednesday December 28th starting at 4:45 p.m. If there are no major objections, they would head to the Mayor’s desk for his signature and ratification into law.