Statement from Mayor Tim Flaherty Regarding Remote Participation in Public Meetings
At the October 16 meeting of the Pleasant Hill City Council, our City became the latest target of an organized effort by an anonymous group to disrupt local agencies’ orderly conduct of public meetings with vile, offensive hate speech. In light of this incident and reflecting upon the rise of these incidents in the Bay Area, the state, and throughout the nation, the City of Pleasant Hill has made the difficult decision to suspend the availability of remote participation in City meetings. The meetings will continue to be livestreamed, and residents can view them via the City’s YouTube channel, website, and on cable television, but no remote access for public participation will be available for any of the City’s public meetings until further notice.
The City Council and all Commissions will continue to welcome in-person comments, as well as any written correspondence submitted via email or through the mail on any agenda item, or a general statement on a non-agenda item. Copies of all comments received up until 4:00 p.m. on the day of a meeting will be provided to that hearing body prior to the meeting. Any email or written correspondence received by 4:00 p.m. will also be included in the meeting minutes as received public comment. Of course, individuals will always be able to provide commentary in real time by attending the meeting in person.
We recognize that this will be an inconvenience for those viewing our meetings remotely, and we apologize for that. However, in order to prevent the disruption of our public meetings, it is a necessary step. Hate speech and attacks on members of the population are not welcome in Pleasant Hill, and we cannot permit our public meetings to be disrupted. As we have said on many occasions, hate has no place here. Equity and inclusion are part of our core values. We continually strive to make life better for all members of our community and create an atmosphere where everyone feels a sense of safety and belonging.
Again, we apologize for the inconvenience this may cause, and we hope that you will continue to share your thoughts on the issues facing the City and continue to be part of the dialogue as we move forward.
City of Pleasant Hill