We believe that residents will expect cities to be available to them online in the future. There are a number of quality software providers that range in cost from $10 to $25/month. We have been assisting several communities in hosting their online public meetings using Zoom. Although there are other online meeting platforms available, we have found Zoom to be very suitable for the public meetings we’ve helped them host.
Procurement decisions related to software need to be made with security as the primary concern. Required features should include:
- Ability to facilitate two-way communication between participants and council/commission/board members.
- Host-only control for screen sharing (restricts attendees from sabotaging a public meeting with offensive or irrelevant content).
- Ability to disable file transfer capabilities.
- Ability to remove participants and keep them removed.
- Ability to hide personal phone numbers of participants that are joining by phone (ensuring the phone number of the mayor, applicant, etc. doesn’t get advertised).
- Over the long-term, cities and towns should consider outfitting council chambers/conference rooms with software/hardware that provides a clear audio and video signal.
Access the Zoom best practices by clicking the link below: