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Mayor Tim Keller Announces Plan for City Boards and Commissions to Adapt to Coronavirus While Maintaining Public Engagement, Access to Local Government

New guidelines for virtual meetings to keep progress going, comply with Open Meetings Act guidelines.

April 4, 2020

Mayor Tim Keller and City Clerk Ethan Watson announced that regular meetings of City Boards and Commissions, which are central to the continuity of local government but had been suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, will resume this week.

The City of Albuquerque has approximately eighty boards and commissions. These Boards and Commissions do critical work in a variety of areas, from development to environmental planning and air quality. Meetings will resume using virtual teleconferencing platforms.

“Our boards and commissions do crucial local governance work and are a key way for local residents to take ownership in the work at City Hall,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Getting them back up in a way that preserves public input and transparency is an important part of engaging the community and keeping the door open to local government.”

To ensure compliance with the Open Meetings Act, all meetings will follow Attorney General Hector Balderas’ guidance to public entities, including adequate notice of public meetings, videoconferences over telephone meetings, roll call votes, and recording of meetings.

The City Clerk’s Office and the Legal Department are prioritizing boards that have time sensitive matters to consider, including the Development Review Board, the Environmental Planning Committee, the Air Quality Board, Albuquerque Development Commission, Lodger’s Tax Advisory Board, Open Space Advisory Board, and Transit Advisory Board.

For boards that have a history of public comment, the City is working on ways to allow the public to continue to comment. And for Boards that do meet during this crisis, the City is training the Boards and staff on use of electronic platforms to ensure public right to access but also ensuring there are appropriate safeguards for the Board and the public.

City Clerk Ethan Watson said, “Each of the City’s boards are different, but they all serve important functions, and we will be working with them to make sure they are connecting to the public in a way that is transparent and moves City business forward.”