On the same day that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced the lifting of most remaining Covid-19-related restrictions, East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc told his colleagues on the town board of his intention to resume in-person meetings with the July 6 work session.
"We will continue to have a hybrid form of meeting, where members of the public can call in," Mr. Van Scoyoc said on Tuesday. Public hearings can also be conducted in that format, provided the governor "continues to extend the open meetings law exceptions for Covid."
If that provision is not extended, those who want to comment on the record will either have to submit written comments during the appropriate time frame or appear in person, he said.
Those planning to attend meetings will be asked to register ahead of time and provide contact information in case a need for contact tracing arises. Meetings will typically start at 11 a.m., one hour later than the pre-pandemic start time.
"I think that gives a little more time pre-meeting to prepare and conduct regular business before we go into a daylong meeting," Mr. Van Scoyoc said. Board members agreed to the supervisor's plan.
When the board's meetings shifted to a virtual format in March of last year, accessible to the public via LTV, its Thursday evening meetings were also moved to 11 a.m., as the surge in online activity because of remote working and streaming of audio and video programming rendered the wireless communications infrastructure unreliable.
The board will resume in-person meetings 16 months after a rapidly accelerating public health emergency led to a declaration of a state of emergency, a near-total shutdown of commercial activity and ordinary life, and the abrupt cancellation of government meetings and those of appointed boards and committees, as officials scrambled to implement initiatives to allow essential departments to continue to operate.