Municipalities in Cortland County switching back to virtual meetings

(Photo Source: Unsplash).

Multiple municipalities in Cortland County are switching back to virtual meetings amid the recent surge in COVID-19 positive cases due to the delta variant.

The move from municipalities comes after New York state Gov. Kathy Hochul recently signed legislation to extend virtual public meetings for local governments.

The city of Cortland Common Council is moving back to meeting via Zoom, said mayor Brian Tobin’s secretary Devin Rainbow Friday afternoon. The council will begin going back to Zoom meetings on Sept. 21 at 7 p.m.

Rainbow mentioned that the city’s zoning board of appeals will continue to meet in person. The decision on meetings for the city planning commission is to be determined.

The village of Homer Board of Trustees have already returned to virtual meetings — which started with its bi-weekly meeting on Sept. 14 — until further notice.

The Cortlandville town board at its meeting on Wednesday voted 3-2 in favor heading back to virtual meetings. The board’s first remote meeting in a handful of months will start with its presentation of the 2022 town budget draft on Oct. 5 at noon, followed by its bi-weekly meeting on Oct. 6 at 5 p.m.

Town of Cortlandville supervisor Tom Williams said town board meetings will be held virtually “for the foreseeable future,” in order to protect the town staff and residents.

The Homer town board currently has no plans to move its meetings to a remote setting, said town of Homer supervisor Fred Forbes. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the board has met in person at every meeting. Forbes, however, noted that virtual meetings might be considered in the future if the board thinks it is needed.

Village of Marathon mayor Bill McGovern said the village’s board of trustees will continue to meet in person. Like the town of Homer, the village hasn’t switched to remote meetings during the pandemic.