Signs posted on Safety Harbor's City Hall doors signal the closing of the building due to the coronavirus crisis. March 25, 2020. (Photo/Kathryn Malaxos)

City Commission goes virtual

in city hall/news

It could be the first step toward a new way of doing Safety Harbor City Commission meetings or it could be a bit of mess.The first ever Zoom City Commission Meeting will be Monday night at 7 pm live in your living room should you decide to watch.Due to COVID-19 safer-at-home restrictions, the City of Safety Harbor plans to hold the monthly City Commission meeting using virtual and audio communications technology.

What’s on the agenda?  The swearing in of Joe Ayoub as Mayor and Carlos Diaz as City Commissioner along with approval of a contract with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department for policing services. The full agenda is at the city’s website.

The “Public Comments” part of the meeting, which apparently can get lively, will be sprinkled through the meeting (depending on the subject). To get your two-cents worth in, it may be a bit complicated, especially for those who are technology-challenged. Members of the public who wish to comment during the meeting have several options.You can e-mail in advance to Emailed comments under 500 words will be read aloud during the meeting, longer emails will be provided to the City Commissioners but will not be read aloud. 

You can use traditional mail. (Better hurry!) Mail To: City Clerk, Attn.: Public Comment | 750 Main Street | Safety Harbor, FL 34695. Mailed comments under 500 words will be read aloud during the meeting; longer emails will be provided to the City Commissioners but will not be read aloud.

You can try to get a question in with Voice Live during the meeting: Hit the “Raise Your Hand” button and the host will be notified and you may be called on at the appropriate time. Live public comment may only be shared during the associated agenda item or as part of audience to be heard. At all other times, live participants should be on “mute” to minimize background noise and feedback. If this doesn’t happen, who knows what you will hear. You can read more about this on Facebook:

Also the city is holding a virtual Town Hall Meeting on Saturday at 3 p.m. to explain all this. If you have never used Zoom, it’s s available from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. or on a web browser. Enter Zoom Meeting ID # 202 417 489. Web Browser: to watch or listen live.

Walt spent 35 years as a reporter, feature writer. TV critic and columnist for The Tampa Tribune. Prior to that he worked in the public relations office at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and as a reporter for The Greenville (SC) News. He and his wife, Debbie, have lived in Safety Harbor for 10 years. He also taught media writing courses at the University of Tampa. Since moving here, he has been active with the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center, hosting a monthly storytelling night.