No video available for Aberdeen City Council meeting, although hybrid option will return

While a hybrid option was not available for residents to view the Aberdeen City Council meeting on Wednesday, a video feed will return.

The City of Aberdeen issued the agenda for the October 11 meeting, noting in highlighted lettering “NO PUBLIC ZOOM OPTION AVAILABLE”.

Image from City of Aberdeen

Residents on social media questioned the action, and Mayor Schave spoke at the meeting specifically about the decision.

According to the Mayor, unbeknownst to officials, the city’s Zoom subscription had expired at the end of September, and when staff were reviewing a renewal they felt the price that had been paid was higher than they would like.

As they were preparing the meeting agenda, the City was unable to secure a dedicated remote video feed in time before legal posting of the meeting format was required, so the option was taken off.

At the meeting it was stated that the city had paid approximately $6000 a year for an option through the Zoom platform that provided a higher level of security features, although they also stated that only around 8 viewers were using the hybrid option on average during meetings.

Mayor Schave said that an option will return, although in what format has not been decided, adding that they are looking at multiple platforms at this time before making a final decision.

Timberland Regional Library Director Cheryl Heywood was able to give a presentation during the meeting via a Microsoft Teams remote video option, although the City stated that this was a one-to-one feed as they were not aware of the full security protocols available via the platform.