The Cranbury Township Committee is set to resume in-person meetings with a livestream option on YouTube in September.
The township committee voted unanimously in favor of returning to in-person meetings starting Sept. 10 after a straw vote was taken at a meeting on Aug. 8.
Mayor Barbara Rogers raised the topic with her fellow Committee members.
“I just thought it was time to talk about it and put it out there and see what your thoughts are. We are all just one of five,” Rogers said. “It certainly is very nice to be able to do this from home, but I think we are public servants and so I do think we need to be out in the public.”
Live committee meetings will be held inside the meeting room in Town Hall at 23 N Main St.
The Committee has been conducting meetings virtually since 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the rest of the township’s commissions and committees.
The move to a virtual meeting platform had been ordered by Gov. Phil Murphy in March 2020, when he issued an executive order that banned indoor meetings and other activities. The order was lifted in May 2021.
With the Committee’s decision to return to in-person meetings all other boards, commissions and committees will also return back to in-person meetings on and after Sept. 10.
“I think it is time,” Deputy Mayor Mike Ferrante said. “I will note that for the planning board and probably for the zoning board, having professional’s testimony come in from all [around the] state as needed [during virtual meetings] has been extremely helpful. In general, if it has to be an all or nothing, I believe we should go back in person.”
The township has the technology, livestream capabilities, and training that has been conducted, officials said.
“It is ready to go when we are,” Township Administrator Denise Marabello said.
If the livestream happens to “glitch” or “stops working,” the meeting would still continue, because the meetings will be in-person, Marabello said.
“Everyone has the ability to come in person if they choose to do so,” she said.
For members of the public that wish to participate during the meeting, they will only be able to do so by attending the meeting in person or sending written public comments to the Township Clerk prior to the meeting.
Those just viewing the livestream will not be able to actively participate in the meeting, officials said.
As of right now, if a meeting had to move into the large group room behind the Town Hall building, officials said livestream would not be available.
Ferrante said the township’s brand-new public library may be an option for livestream capabilities.