The Livermore City Council at a special meeting on Monday worked to set new procedures and rules for conducting virtual meetings during the shelter in place.
The council addressed when and how members of the public will be able to weigh in on agenda items and other issues of interest
For now, the city, which is using the video conferencing platform Zoom to conduct meetings, will continue to block the public from providing audio testimony in real time and accept only written comments submitted before and during the meetings.
Across the country, cities and other government bodies have seen public meetings derailed by so-called “Zoom bombers” who have used a public participation feature in the platform to anonymously join meetings and then repeat profanities and racial slurs.
Mayor John Marchand said that the council should consider requiring people to first identify themselves to help ensure “that somebody doesn’t go off the rails.”
“I know that Zoom has had problems with that in the past,” he said.
A more formal set of rules for virtual meetings is expected to go before the council again sometime in June.
In other news Monday, the city council agreed to scrap its former goal of posting meeting agendas 10 days before regular meetings, and elected to have the period shortened to six days prior to meetings.
State law requires agendas for regular meetings to be posted at least 72 hours prior to regularly scheduled meetings.