Moving quickly on to resuming in-person city services and council meetings.

This presentation is a lot more about city services than council meetings:…
The city will continue with a hybrid work model, it looks like, in a three-phased approach.

This, of course, plays into the city's larger plan to consolidate its (many) office buildings. That has already begun by terminating a $1M/yr lease during the pandemic.
"No longer does every employee have a desk," says Chris Meschuk, formerly the interim city manager. (I've forgotten his actual title and position)
BUT even with consolidation and hybrid work, there are a lot of in-person services the city wants to keep offering.

Customer service won't be operating at full, in-person capacity until Sept. 7, according to the plan.
That's also when all city office buildings will be fully re-opened.
"We're going to learn what works for us and what doesn't," RE: hybrid work, Meschuk says. That will "inform" the eventual development of Alpine-Balsam — the former BCH campus which, you'll remember, was purchased in part to help consolidate city offices.
The other part being, of course, the desire to control what development happened there.
Departments now tend to have "their" buildings, Meschuk says. In the future, with more shared space, they'll still need a "home base," but there will be more co-location.
Which I can only think would help with cross-departmental collaboration — v important given the nature of many of Boulder's biggest issues (housing, homelessness, transportation, climate change, etc.) that are intertwined and interdependent.
"COVID has now accelerated that conversation and that work" about consolidating city facilities, Meschuk says.
Boulder's first facilities master plan *should* debut later this year, actually.

Supremely nerdy of me, but I'm actually v interested in it.
I'm not gonna try and talk you into *also* being interested, but I'll just say it's v illuminating to see how many properties Boulder owns / what they're worth.

The first-ever Facilities and Fleet dept (new last year) budget was very relevatory.
For instance, do you know how many vehicles the city of Boulder owns and operates? It's a lot... more than 900!
This matters, bc it shows where your tax dollars are going.
But I digress.
Weaver: Is there going to be any request for employees to get vaccinated as we open up workspaces? How are we going to work through that?
Meschuk: We're encouraging all city employees to get vaccinated. We've been holding town halls every 2 weeks; we've hosted vaccination clinics. "We're making great progress."
Doesn't disclose what % of city employees have been vaccinated. Somebody ask!!
Wallach for the win! He asks about % of city staff vaccinated.
Meschuk: We're not requiring city employees to disclose their vaccination status to us, bc that's private health info. But we're doing aggregate monitoring, so we'll have an update in a couple of weeks.
Looks like council is going to revisit this toward the end of the meeting when it comes to THEM returning to in-person, so I'll come back to this thread later.
Switching up threads as council will discuss how they feel about returning to in-person: Are they willing to come back to in-person after summer break?
Weaver: "I am, and I look forward to it."
Friend to Carr: Are we allowed to ask that ppl to be vaccinated before they come back? Staff or council members?
Carr: HR's recommendation was not to ask... but idk. Let me think about that. I think you could ask for staff and council, but idk how you do it for the public.
Swetlik: "I am ready to come back."
Wallach: I'm also ready to come back. CU is requiring its students to be vaccinated. I'm not sure why we couldn't.
Prob bc college is a privilege, not a right. Public gov't meetings, however....
Brockett ready to come back, but doesn't want to be masked the whole time.

"I think it's very reasonable to require vaccinations for in-person council and staff attendance."
Nagle: "I don't particularly agree with asking people, especially with the public positions we're in, because if some ppl aren't and the media gets ahold of that or the public gets ahold of that.... It's no one else's biz if I got vaccinated or didn't get vaccinated."
Carr: The litigation hasn't started on this issue, and it will soon, and we'll get more info from the courts. But I'm not aware of any cases alleging job discrimination from being required to get vaccinated; I think that suit would fail.
Brockett: There are ppl who can't get vaccinated; I have an immuno-compromised neighbor, for example. We can allow hybrid participation.
Friend: If someone did not want to disclose or didn't want to get vaccinated, they would have an option to attend from home.
Huntley: Correct.
Friend: "For as long as our meetings go, it seems like the scientific thing to do to have everyone coming to the meetings to be vaccinated. And to role model that as well."
Joseph: "Going back in July feels too soon. I thought closer to the September time frame," when the rest of the city is. Why are we starting sooner?
Friend: A lot of councils have been meeting steadily during the pandemic. The timing seemed good with vaccinations and staff's workload.
And the sense that both council members and community hoping that we will sooner than later get back to normalcy, Friend says.
And council wants to pilot hybrid meetings before boards and commissions do, Friend says.

As of now, the recommendation is that boards remain remote until Sept. 7, at which time they either stay remote OR go in person... no timeline for them going hybrid.
It's a cost and time consideration: There are so many boards and commissions that it's hard to do hybrid for them all.
Young also ready to return in July, and believes that everyone in chambers should be vaccinated.
Carr: Are you thinking about letting public members attend in July?
Weaver: No.
I assume that includes press...
It will be council and critical staff only, Weaver says.
I think that wraps this one. @threadreaderapp please unroll. Thank you!

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More from @shayshinecastle

12 May
Next item: Recommendations to improve public engagement at city council meetings.

Council will be giving input on a whole list of things, but here are a few of the big ones:
More chats with council
Separate public hearings from council votes on major issues
Other barriers to public participation (suggestion that mayor can read submitted comments)
Council spent quite a bit of time on this at its January retreat. Suggestions generally fell into 5 buckets:
1. Changes to Open Comment and Public Hearings;
2. Community presentations (during open comment and public hearings);
Read 98 tweets
12 May
Now for the annual homelessness update / changing city policies to discourage camps on public lands.

This will be divided into those two distinct sections. City Attorney Tom Carr leading the first part about city policies.

Council considering banning tents/structures from all public lands (unless you have a permit) and propane tanks (if you have more than 1-2)
The city's camping ban doesn't quite cover this, because it doesn't explicitly ban tents. It bans ppl from "sheltering" themselves — which also applies to covering oneself with a blanket or sleeping bag.
Read 120 tweets
12 May
COVID briefing underway. Here's the presentation from Boulder County Public Health:…
Things are looking better. Community spread down, vaccinations up, positive tests down, hospitalizations down.
"Half as many cases as this time last month," Lexi Nolen says.
Read 20 tweets
5 May
City Attorney update: 12 applications received.
HR recommending 6 of those advance. Council will receive the candidate materials, with ID'ing info redacted.
Reminder: Tom Carr retiring at the end of June.
Council is going to independently rank those, as they did with the city manager recently.

The top candidates will be interviewed by council members the week of May 17.
Read 8 tweets
5 May
Marpa House, up now. Here's the staff presentation:…
Again, it's being reused from communal living to separate units. (16 3BR units) Overall occupancy will decrease from 50 to 48

Planning Board voted unanimously to OK, with some conditions (on-site management, etc.)
The new name will be Ash House. Here's the property owner's presentation:…
Read 174 tweets
4 May
It' a lovely Tuesday evening for a #Boulder city council meeting.

We've had a bit of a change-up in the agenda: No homelessness stuff tonight. It's been moved to next week, a special meeting (which means no open comment).
We DO have open comment tonight, tho, so I would expect to hear from folks about homelessness.
There's one main agenda item tonight: Marpa House. There will be a public hearing and council vote on the reuse of this space from communal living to 16, 3-bedroom units. Neighbors are opposed.
Read 52 tweets

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