The Baltimore County Council plans its first in-person meeting since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic at 6 p.m. Monday in Towson.
Council Chairman Julian Jones, a Woodstock Democrat, said the council had hoped to resume open meetings in September, around the time county schools welcomed students back for the year.
But there have been delays associated with setting up screens and other technology in the council chambers that would allow the meetings to be held simultaneously in-person and online, he said.
That work remains unfinished, but Jones said the council wanted to hold its last meetings of the year in-person for the two longtime members departing in December — Cathy Bevins and Tom Quirk.
The meeting will still be broadcast online, Jones added, but the setup will not be as advanced as it will be once the equipment arrives. There may only be one camera trained on the entire council as the meeting proceeds, rather than seven individual cameras — one for each member. And large screens intended to display online speakers in the council chambers may not be up and running yet, Jones said.
Regardless, Monday will be the first time the council is meeting in its chambers in Towson’s Historic Courthouse since March 2020.
The council is scheduled to hold its Nov. 29 work session solely online, but the evening Dec. 5 legislative meeting, during which council members will vote on bills discussed Nov. 29, will be held both in-person and online, according to an online schedule. That meeting follows a 10 a.m. Dec. 5 inauguration for the new council.
Jones said the council wanted to welcome its two new members — Mike Ertel and Pat Young — with an in-person meeting, even though the desired technology for hybrid meetings may not be set up until February. The pair of Democrats will be representing areas that include Towson and Catonsville, respectively.