HomePrinceton PacketPrinceton Council will resume in-person meetings with Zoom option

Princeton Council will resume in-person meetings with Zoom option

The Princeton Council will resume its in-person public meetings with a Zoom option in September.

The council approved a resolution amending the 2022 meeting schedule to bring back in-person meetings at its July 25 meeting. The live meetings will be held in the main meeting room beginning on Sept. 12 at the Witherspoon Hall municipal building at 400 Witherspoon St.

The Council will continue to offer a Zoom option for residents who want to watch the meetings online “if and when technologically feasible and as a convenience only,” the resolution said. A trial run was held in private and proved successful, officials said.

The Council moved to virtual meetings using the Zoom platform after Gov. Phil Murphy issued an executive order in March 2020 banning indoor meetings and other activities. The executive order, which was lifted in May 2021, was made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the ability to meet in public, the Council had opted to continue meeting virtually.

There was extensive discussion about moving back to in-person meetings at the Council’s July 11 meeting, but it was agreed to hold off on a decision until the July 25 meeting.

Princeton Councilwoman Mia Sacks said she preferred in-person meetings with a Zoom option.

“Public participation has picked up since the council began meeting virtually,” she said. “About 70 or 80 people have watched the meetings online, compared to a handful who had attended the in-person meetings.”

Princeton Councilwoman Michelle Pirone Lambro said she favored the hybrid option of in-person and online meetings because “it draws a different slice of the population.” But she said she also misses the interaction between elected officials and the public generated at in-person meetings.

Princeton Councilman David Cohen said some residents are still challenged by the technology, and they prefer in-person meetings because those meetings are more “accessible.”

“It’s a no-brainer. It’s the best of both worlds,” Cohen said of hybrid meetings.

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