The City of Alexandria will go another few months before the members of its numerous boards and commissions will set eyes on each other.
At a City Council meeting on Tuesday, City Manager Mark Jinks laid out a calendar that partially pushes back in-person meetings to June or later. While the Council will continue to meet in May, Jinks encouraged most other boards and advisory committees to cancel their meetings.
Mayor Justin Wilson said moving to online meetings has opened up new avenues for populations that don’t typically come to City Council meetings to raise their voice in city discussions.
“I hope the new virtual ways to weigh in becomes permanent for meetings,” Wilson said.
The sole exception, Jinks said, is the Board of Architectural Review, which is scheduled to meet online next Wednesday, May 6. The only items on the docket are the installation of several new small cell facilities, and Jinks said those issues are time-sensitive.
Once the city meetings start back up, Jinks said the priority will be sorting through the large land-use issues that have pile up over two months of the city focusing predominately on COVID-19 issues.
“We will be continuing with land-use projects,” Jinks said. “There are big projects coming up, like Potomac Yard, to keep on track.”
Jinks said other city business, like appointments, will resume during June, but many commissions will remain on hold.
“Other boards and commissions are also encouraged to cancel June meetings,” he said. “[We will have] non-electronic meetings in June for things like City Council and the Planning Commission, with the option to dial in.”
The announcement of the city schedule follows a loosening of restrictions on what localities can discuss and decide in virtual meetings.
The City Council is also currently mulling over the possibility of having meetings during August, when the Council is traditionally in recess.
Staff photo by Jay Westcott