City Council lifts virus restrictions

Public can attend in person; virtual still an option

On Tuesday, for the first time in more than a year, members of the public will be able to attend a City Council meeting in person, with the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

A remote-access option will be available as an alternative.

Council members suggested reverting to normal public admittance at council’s most recent meeting.

Vaccinations are widely available, a fair percentage of people have been vaccinated, and many who haven’t been vaccinated are likely not going to be anytime soon, Councilman Jesse Ickes said.

“I’d love to see us get back to normal,” said Councilman Matt Cacciotti.

It makes sense to keep the remote-access option, according to Ickes and Councilman Bruce Kelley.

“The public is more than welcome to wear masks and social distance, although (such precautions are) not required,” stated city clerk Linda Rickens Schellhammer in a news release.

Members of the public can participate remotely by using the WebEx option. The phone number and access code are available a week in advance of each meeting on the city’s website calendar and on the agenda attached to that calendar, according to the news release.

The city’s website is at www.altoonapa.gov.

Members of the public can also watch the meetings on Atlantic Broadband Public Access Channel 14 and on YouTube, according to the news release.

A schedule of meetings is on the website.

Council meetings begin at 6 p.m. at the City of Altoona Training Facility & Council Chambers, 1320 Washington Ave.

People with questions can call Rickens Schellhammer at 814-949-2486 or email her at cityclerk@altoonapa.gov.

The meetings are normally on Mondays.

Today’s meeting was switched because of Flag Day.

At the recent meeting, council members instructed City Manager Omar Strohm to use his discretion in setting COVID-19 restrictions for city employees.

There was a brief discussion about the potential for requiring proof of vaccination as a prerequisite for permission not to mask.

“I’m not in favor of employees needing to show proof,” Ickes said.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 814-949-7038.


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