Post Content

Alexandria starts to move away from virtually accessible meetings

While City Council usually has the final say over big decisions, much of the city’s future starts taking shape in Alexandria’s boards and commissions. After two years of those meetings going online and recorded for public viewing, many of them are starting to go offline again.

The Waterfront Commission, for example, has been where many of the details about flooding in Old Town have been hashed out. The 7:30 a.m. meetings have historically had fairly light public attendance. With the start of the pandemic those meetings were recorded and published online until last month, when the group stopped recording meetings.

City leaders have repeatedly called expanded public participation in meetings one of the few good things to emerge from the pandemic — along with to-go cocktails. At AlexTV, those curious about city policies can view a backlog of everything from Transportation Commission meetings to meetings of the Sister Cities Committee, but over the next few months that selection will start to slim down.

Alexandria communications officer Andrea Blackford said the authority for full virtual meetings was an emergency authority that will go away with the expiration of the City’s declaration of emergency at the end of June. That change doesn’t prevent the city from recording and publishing footage of meetings, but Blackford said it’s a question of staff resources.

“The FOIA open meetings rules allow for limited electronic participation by members of public bodies and do allow for unlimited participation electronically by staff or the public,” Blackford said. “However, the actual meeting of the public body has to be in person with a quorum of members in the room. Virtual participation by the public while the public body is meeting in person, known as a hybrid meeting, is much more resource intensive to conduct than a fully virtual meeting, due to the technology requirements for a hybrid meeting.”

While Blackford said that while hybrid meetings of the City Council and Planning Commission will continue, the city doesn’t have the manpower to continue with hybrid meetings for other commissions.

“Therefore, some boards and commissions may need to hold in-person meetings without a virtual component because the City does not have the resources available for all boards and commissions to conduct hybrid meetings,” Blackford said. “The legal rules apply the same to all public bodies — including all boards, commissions and City Council. We have prioritized hybrid meetings of the City Council and Planning Commission as those are the meetings with the most public participation.”

Recent Stories

While it’s been a busy week in Alexandria, what’s likely the biggest story of the week dropped this afternoon as WMATA announced that the Potomac Yard Metro station has been…

(Updated 2:15 p.m.) The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced that the Potomac Yard Metro station’s opening will be delayed yet again. WMATA said in a statement that the…

Open houses in Alexandria this weekend

Open Houses includes a 3 BD/2.5 BA home with a wood burning fireplace, built-in bookcases and heart pine wood floors.

Just Listed in Alexandria

A 2 BD/3 BA brick townhome with 4 levels, wood burning fireplace and private patio is included in Just Listed.

Are you tired of going to the gym? It might be the crowds, the locker room, waiting on equipment or the time it takes to commute to the gym.

Having a personal trainer come to your home will keep you accountable, save you time and allow you to workout in the comfort of your own home.

Skip the hassle of the gym and try our in-home personal training service.

Our services are reasonably priced, convenient, effective and are risk free.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here.

At Nova Fencing Club, the beginner fencing classes are designed for students of all levels – including students who have never fenced before.

If you’re looking for a fun physical activity that improves your fitness, critical thinking and rapid decision making skills then come join us!

There’s no better time than now to give us a try – and take part in one of the fastest growing sports. Our highly educated, professional coaching staff includes Virginia’s only Maitre d’Armes, a member of USA Fencing’s coaching team, former members of the USA National Team, and our Head Coach, who has produced national champions.

Register for either our Youth Beginner Fencing Classes (7-12) or our Teen & Adult Beginner Fencing Classes (13 to Adult) and become a part of the club that champions call home.

Submit your own Community Post here.

Think BIG! About the Future of Movement

Join the City of Alexandria and Arlington County’s Initiative to Rethink Energy at our first ever electric vehicle (EV) and sustainable technologies showcase! Get inspired by seeing a variety of electric cars, scooters, bikes, motorcycles, police cars, buses, trucks and

Between Home and the Front: Book Talk and Signing

Join the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum on Zoom or in person at the museum for a special book talk with the curators behind Between Home and the Front: Civil War Letters of the Walters Family. A book signing will be

×

Subscribe to our mailing list