County Council returns to in-person meetings

Seventh+District+Councilman+Mark+Harder+and+3rd+District+Councilman+Tim+Fitch+at+a+May+2019+meeting.

Photo by Erin Achenbach

Seventh District Councilman Mark Harder and 3rd District Councilman Tim Fitch at a May 2019 meeting.

By Gloria Lloyd, News Editor

The St. Louis County Council is returning to in-person meetings tonight, Tuesday, June 1, but with a new, more modern look and feel in the traditional County Council Chambers at 41 S. Central Ave. in Clayton.

The council’s meetings will still be broadcast live and posted on YouTube after the meeting, as they have been throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The council last met in person in March 2020, before converting all council and committee meetings to virtual.

Although the council is returning in person, members of the public will still be able to email public comments until the state emergency order for the pandemic ends in August.

The meeting will take place at 6:30 p.m., or a virtual link can be found by going to stlouiscountymo.gov, clicking on “Public Notices” and then tonight’s meeting.

The meeting is also accessible by conference call. To join the meeting, please call +1-408-418-9388 US Toll and enter the Access code: 132 137 7680, or join via computer at CCM0601.

“We are all looking forward to that — I can’t remember the name of the constituent who comes each week, but I hope she will be happy with the fact that we are returning,” said council Chairwoman Rita Days, D-Bel Nor, at the end of the May 25 council meeting.

The county’s Information Technology department was set to hold a run-through of the technology at 3 p.m. Tuesday. Council members will now have touch screens on the dais where they can follow along with the agenda, and new screens in the chambers will allow remotely participating council members or members of the public to be seen by the public inside the building.

The upgrades are “neat things that have been installed for our use,” said 7th District Councilman Mark Harder, R-Ballwin. “As we move through our next chapter of meetings, I think it would be a great opportunity both for residents and for us.”

To test the new technology, 3rd District Councilman Tim Fitch, R-Fenton, will participate remotely. Fitch joked last week that he was also the designated remote test participant last year when meetings switched to virtual, or the “designated survivor.”

Members of the public arriving at the Administration Building at 41 S. Central Ave. will go in through security on the bottom floor as had been the practice for several years before the pandemic and them move to the first floor where the chambers are located. Doors will open at 6 p.m.

Those who want to speak in the public forum can sign up in person from 6 p.m. to 6:28 p.m.

“I am excited to be back in the chambers with everyone next week …  I know that folks are going to continue to participate in our meetings,” said 5th District Councilwoman Lisa Clancy, D-Maplewood.