The Bellingham City Council resumes in-person meetings in Council Chambers at City Hall beginning Monday, October 3, 2022, after 2.5 years of meeting remotely. This and subsequent meetings will be conducted in a hybrid setting with both in-person and remote access available to Council members, City staff and the public.
“I welcome this opportunity to meet with the full council, the Mayor and City staff in person,” Council President Hannah Stone said. “For some City Council members, October 3 will be their first time on the dais. On Monday, I look forward to greeting members of the public who are in Council Chambers, welcoming people who choose to join us through remote access and thanking everyone in advance for their patience while we navigate hybrid meetings.”
The last in-person Bellingham City Council meeting was held on March 23, 2020, when the emerging COVID-19 pandemic caused officials to proclaim local and state emergencies, move to remote meetings and take other measures to help protect public health and reduce strain on health care workers and medical facilities.
Bellingham City Council is required by the state Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) to host in-person public meetings once state and local proclamations of emergency are lifted on October 31. The OPMA requires municipalities to provide public access to an in-person meeting location while also permitting Council members, City staff and the public to participate via remote technologies.
The City Council voted at its September 26 meeting to resume meeting in City Council Chambers, while continuing to offer a remote option as well, beginning with the Council’s meetings on October 3. Details for participating in person or via remote access available on the published City Council agenda.
The October 3 regular meeting agenda includes three public hearings. Community members are invited to provide live public hearing testimony in person or via remote access during the hearings or written testimony online. Advance sign up to provide live testimony is encouraged but not required. Public hearings are topic specific and related testimony must be on topic.
To submit general public comment to the City Council on any topic, visit the City’s Engage Bellingham Public Comment site.
There are many ways to communicate with the City Council, Stone said, including:
- Provide live testimony during public hearings scheduled on specific topics. Live testimony can be provided in person at City Council Chambers or via remote access during the hearing.
- For public hearings, written testimony on specific topics can be provided online.
- Provide general written comments on any topic, view other comments, and share comments on social media, using the City’s Engage Bellingham public engagement platform.
- Email the full City Council at email@example.com or email individual Council members using the contact information provided on the City Council website.
- Mail or deliver letters to the City Council at Bellingham City Hall, 210 Lottie Street, Bellingham, WA 98225.
- Call the City Council at (360) 778-8200 or call individual Council members using the contact information provided on the City Council website.
For more information about how to participate in Bellingham City Council meetings in-person or via remote access, contact the City Council Office at (360) 778-8200 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The City Council Chambers is located on the second floor of Bellingham City Hall., 210 Lottie Street, Bellingham 98225. For additional details, see meeting agendas for October 3 and beyond at meetings.cob.org.