Maricopa County residents wanting to participate in formal board meetings will now have more options than ever to do so. Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates announced today that the public will be able to attend board meetings in person for the first time since the early days of the pandemic. In addition, the virtual participation offered over the last two years will continue to be available for residents who prefer to log into a webinar.
“I’m a big believer in people interacting with their local government and sharing their perspective,” said Gates, who represents District 3. “I’m excited to open the doors to our board meetings and invite people to comment on any of the items on the agenda.”
Chairman Gates says the change is based on guidance the Board of Supervisors received from Maricopa County Public Health. For several months, county board meetings had been closed to the public in accordance with CDC and Public Health safety protocols. During that time, the County offered residents a chance to participate in meetings live via webinar. They could also watch full meetings anytime on the Maricopa County YouTube channel.
“The pandemic forced us to think in new ways about how we could connect with friends, families, co-workers, and for elected leaders, our constituents,” said Gates. “The webinar has allowed more people in more places to be a part of our meetings, and I think the combination of in-person and virtual participation represents the best of both worlds.”
At county board meetings, each speaker will be given two minutes to speak so that all individuals who want to speak are treated equitably. Under open meeting law, board members are not able respond to public comments except in specific circumstances.
Board meeting information and agendas can be found on the Clerk of the Board’s page on the County website.