Electronic meetings born of necessity during COVID-19 showed how easy it is to connect virtually. Now, Denver City Council has created a formal policy to allow members to attend council and committee meetings online.
Council members are expected to attend meetings in person, but the council president can approve a request to attend virtually. The new policy allows virtual attendance when:
· Traveling for work. Travel for work includes city business more than 50 miles from Denver.
· Taking care of personal and family events. These include events such as funerals or caring for an ill family member.
· Experiencing a medical necessity. Medical necessities include recovery from surgery, quarantining for COVID-19, or nursing an infant.
According to the policy, other approvals at the council president's discretion include "an extraordinary situation or if a member's attendance is required to achieve quorum for a committee or council meeting," according to the policy.
The policy states that a council member may not attend a meeting virtually while driving.
Council president approves, denies requests
Council members who want to attend a meeting virtually must get approval from the council president at least three hours before the meeting. Council members must fill out a form stating why they must attend the meeting virtually.
The policy is on Tuesday's consent agenda for the Finance and Governance Committee. The consent agenda is for routine items. The policy will pass without comment unless a committee member requests discussion.
The council met virtually for several months because of COVID-19 but now meets in person.