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In-person public meetings to resume June 1

By ThisIsReno

Public bodies must resume in-person meetings following the state’s Open Meeting Law on June 1, according to an update distributed today by Nevada Health Response.

Relaxed requirements for Nevada’s Open Meeting Law were put into place through provisions of Gov. Steve Sisolak’s Emergency Directive 006, which allowed for public meetings to be held virtually during the pandemic. However that directive will be terminated under Sisolak’s reopening plans. 

The plans, outlined in Emergency Directive 044 also terminate a handful of other directives, including those concerning youth and adult sports, gatherings and K-12 education. The directive also includes the transfer of control for COVID-19 mitigation to local entities. 

Washoe County School District in early April reverted back to virtual meetings after months of in-person meetings held at area schools to allow for social distancing. WCSD board of trustees president Angie Taylor said the decision was made as a result of disruptive behavior from public commenters flouting state-ordered COVID-19 mitigation protocols — like mask wearing — at its March 30 meeting.

Some citizens have criticized local public bodies for the limits placed on public comment during virtual meetings during the pandemic.

Government officials have also grappled with how best to include public comment in virtual meetings while maintaining order. On June 19, 2020 a Reno City Council Meeting was disrupted by two callers making bomb threats.

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