LANSING, Mich. — The Lansing City Council is discussing a return to in-person meetings.
"We had talked about doing it fully in person at City Hall, fully in person at our South Washington office complex or a hybrid at either of those locations, and it seems to be there was a strong desire from the council members to do some sort of hybrid for now," said Lansing City Council president Peter Spadafore.
With the hybrid model, some council members would participate remotely and, because of gathering restrictions, they would limit the number of people who could come into the council chambers.
"We figure we can fit about 25 for sure members of the public in chambers with six feet distancing," Spadafore said. "And masking requirements would certainly be enforced. And then a potential overflow space in the City Hall lobby, and then after that, we would continue to broadcast live."
At-Large Councilwoman Patricia Spitzley says she thinks there are still necessary precautions that need to be in place because vaccination rates are still far from what we need to achieve herd immunity and believes the hybrid plan is the best way to go.
"I think it's a good thing. I think it's the step to getting back to normal and starting to have government accessible to the people and that's good," Spitzley said.
In Grand Ledge, the hope is to have hybrid meetings at some point in the future. Mayor Thom Sowle didn't have an exact date. But he says the city has spent thousands of dollars to be able to accommodate hybrid meetings.
All the council members would be in the chambers with the hybrid model, but there would be limits on how many members of the public could attend in person.
"I certainly prefer the in-person meetings, but I have to look out for our constituents. It needs to be a safe environment," Sowle said.
The Lansing City Council will continue the conversation about in-person meetings, and Spadafore said, "My recommendation right now is probably going to be that on the 14 of April, we have some form of in-person component to our meetings. And continue to offer a hybrid virtual option as long as it's possible."
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