Allentown council meetings will remain remote through December

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ALLENTOWN – Meetings of the Allentown mayor and Borough Council will continue to be conducted in a remote manner at least through December.

Councilman John A. Elder III, in a report to the mayor and council on Oct. 27, said that because the coronavirus pandemic is continuing in New Jersey, the borough’s governing body will continue to present its meetings to the public online “out of an abundance of caution.”

“In December, consideration will be given as to how we would like to proceed in 2021,” Elder said.

When the pandemic overtook New Jersey in March, the council began broadcasting its meetings on Facebook Live. The council has since moved its broadcasts to Zoom.

Members of the public may join the Zoom meeting and view the borough’s elected officials, or they may call in and listen to the meeting without the benefit of a video feed.

Mayor Thomas Fritts said many residents with whom he has spoken support the remote meetings. Holding the meetings in this manner reduces the number of people coming to Borough Hall, he said.

“We have had a lot of internal (coronavirus) scares,” Fritts said. “Holding remote meetings has allowed us to keep people safe.”

Elder said even when “normal” meetings return and are opened to the public, “I think we should also have the ability to have meetings remotely (on Zoom). Doing so will elicit participation in the governmental process for people who have busy schedules.”

The next council meeting is scheduled for Nov. 10. Individuals may view the council agenda on the municipal website and read the instructions on how to join the meeting by Zoom or by telephone.

In other business on Oct. 27:

• Council members accepted Phil Meara’s resignation from the Class B position on the Historic Preservation Review Commission. Officials moved Kurt Wayton to the Class B position and Nancy Tindall to the Alternate No. 1 position, and appointed David Bamford to the Alternate No. 2 position on the commission;

• Council members appointed Anthony Arroyo to the Fire Police;

• Council members appointed Debbie Macaluso to the Alternate No. 2 position on the Economic Development Commission.