City Council meetings opening to public again

in People

Members of the Ceres City Council agreed to once again allow the public to physically attend their meetings – a first since governor shut down normal activities in California during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The council decided to open the chambers starting with the meeting set for next Monday, March 22.

For most of 2020 and all of this year, the council had been conducting business via Zoom meetings with councilmembers and staff participating from home or offices. Toward the end of the year members began physically sitting in the Council dais, modified with plastic dividers, with the public barred from attending.

City Manager Tom Westbrook surveyed other cities in the county and learned that six of the nine are holding meetings virtually only. The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors has been allowing the public to walk into its chambers for meetings but limits that number to 36 and physically distanced. Turlock has reopened public attendance but limited seating to 16 while Oakdale allows up to 15 in its audience. Westbrook said the room which the council meets in is large enough to keep audience members adequately distanced from one another.

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