Haverhill City Council Subcommittee to Hear Plan for Better Virtual Meetings with Improved Public Input

Haverhill City Councilor William J. Macek. (WHAV News file photograph by Jay Saulnier.)

Click image for Haverhill City Council agenda.

Many government meetings moved online with this spring’s outbreak of the coronavirus, and City Councilor William J. Macek says new technology could give residents better access and greater ability to participate safely from home.

Macek plans to discuss a Colorado company’s new approach during a meeting of the City Council’s Administration and Finance Committee tonight in City Hall.

“They have a patent pending for software that is geared towards assisting communities with their outreach to the public and also the transparency that people really are not receiving anywhere,” he told WHAV.

Macek explains the technology allows residents to comment on Council agenda items during the week leading up to a meeting, while complying with the state’s Open Meeting Law.

“If we get involved with this, I believe we will be trendsetting, in communities around our area at least, as to how we’re helping to get the word out to the public and making easy and safer because they will not need to come to the meeting,” he said.

Macek said the company, which he will name at the meeting, offers a fixed rate fee of $800 a month for City Council or more for all public meetings.

The technology also includes live streaming, citizen question and answer responses, and public input, public record archiving, meeting minutes and voting.

For the first time in months, councilors will meet in person at 7 p.m., in the Theodore A. Pelosi Jr. City Council Chambers, room 202, in City Hall.

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