The City of Asheville is pleased to announce the return of board and commission meetings beginning in June. All meetings will take place virtually, with the first committee meeting being the Urban Forestry Committee on June 15.
All City of Asheville Boards and Commissions meetings were cancelled starting in March due to the declared state of emergency for COVID-19, in order to follow public health guidance for public health guidance. This decision was made by City management in consultation with the Mayor and City Council.
City staff began working on plans to implement remote meetings. However, this required implementation and testing of various technologies. In addition, it was not until May 4 that Gov. Cooper signed into law new legislation allowing remote meetings for public bodies. This new law also provided the first legal framework for such meetings.
The City held its first fully remote public meeting for the May 12 City Council meeting. This allowed the City to test out the necessary technologies for such events, which can now be applied to other boards, committees, and commissions.
The City has more than 30 boards and commissions. Due to this fact the City has decided to begin with quasi-judicial boards and boards with upcoming legal deadlines.
All meetings will be hosted virtually and streamed simultaneously on the City’s Public Engagement Hub and YouTube channel. In addition to live-streaming, individuals can call in by phone to listen to each of the meetings live. Residents can submit written comments online for individual board meetings via the public engagement hub. All comments should be submitted no later than the close of business the day before any meeting.
Agendas, presentations, and project information will be posted on the committee webpage before the meeting. After COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, virtual meetings may continue as a supplement to in-person meetings to increase public participation and to encourage more equitable public testimony.
The City would like to thank the public and our boards and commissions for their patience and cooperation as we work through our response to this public health emergency and towards resuming your regular committee meetings.