Town Meeting TV and Local Governments Open the Door to Decision-Making with Hybrid Meetings
After a year of exclusively virtual meetings, cities and towns across Vermont are now required to provide an option for the public to attend meetings in person. Town Meeting TV is working with municipalities to allow continued remote access and offer a new alternative: hybrid meetings.
Under this new model, board members, members of the public, and town staff can either participate in-person or virtually via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or other online platforms. The hybrid approach aims to ensure that all members of the public have continued access to meetings in the format that is most comfortable for them.
In early June, Town Meeting TV installed a pilot hybrid system in the town offices of Williston. Essex, Essex Junction, Winooski, Burlington, and South Burlington will all have versions of this hybrid system available to boards and the public soon. “We hope the flexibility of the hybrid format will make City Council, Selectboard, and other public meetings more accessible to everyone in our community,” says Town Meeting TV Channel Director Meghan O’Rourke.
Hybrid meetings are the latest way Town Meeting TV will offer gavel-to-gavel coverage of public meetings and other events. The organization is in the process of procuring the necessary equipment to support other towns in Chittenden County, and plans to begin streaming hybrid meetings in Burlington, South Burlington, and Essex soon.
“The hybrid option takes our live and on-demand coverage to a whole new level,” O’Rourke explains. “By helping municipal offices offer both on-site and online meetings, we’ll ultimately be providing people with more opportunities to participate, comment, and interact with their local governments — no matter where they are .”
Chittenden County residents can find all of Town Meeting TV’s local programming on Comcast 1087, Burlington Telecom 17, 217, and 317, YouTube.com/townmeetingTV, or ch17.tv.