Visiting New Paltz Village Hall

The Village Hall in New Paltz is still not fully open to the public, but that could be coming soon. The power to hold meetings virtually is only granted by an executive order issued under emergency powers, and is expected to be rescinded as the threat of pandemic recedes. However, there was hope during the June 9 Village Board meeting that some of that flexibility might be retained through a new state law. Under the old system, if an elected official wanted to attend a meeting via computer, the meeting notice would have to include the location of the remote party, and the public would have to be allowed to attend from either location. The emergency remote-meeting rules do not have that requirement, only rules that require that the public can participate.

In the meantime, it’s going to be easier to get into those virtual meetings. Early in the pandemic, some public meetings got “bombed” by individuals who flooded the online space with loud music and pornographic imagery as a disruption. Access to village meetings has not been posted publicly; they can be viewed live, but comments have to be sent in writing. Those in the know are able to get links to Village Board meetings to comment directly, but that has not been an option for Planning Board meetings. With new security features in place, residents may start seeing those links included in meeting agendas.

As for visiting employees in their offices, those employees are going to be canvassed before any decisions are made. It does not appear that anyone will be expected to produce proof of vaccination, but signs will be posted laying out the expectation that anyone who has not submitted to an inoculation should continue to mask up.