As COVID-19 case numbers and positivity rates drop and the state tiptoes back to normality, Carroll County local governments are reopening their doors to the public.
Municipal council meetings began being held online via video conferencing services starting in March of last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down most non-essential buildings. But that is changing and not only are most elected officials meeting in person again, the public is being allowed in many of Carroll’s cities and towns.
City of Westminster Administrative Offices opened for the public on Monday, June 14. The Mayor and Common Council meetings have resumed in person, and are held the second and fourth Monday of every month. Meetings of boards and commissions will continue to be held virtually.
Residents are still be able to watch the meetings through livestream.
The city of Taneytown had its first fully in-person meeting last Wednesday. City officials continue to encourage people to wear a mask and set up the conference room to allow social distancing. Those who do not feel comfortable with in-person meetings can watch it through livestream.
The council meets on the second Monday of every month and holds a workshop the Wednesday before its meeting.
In Hampstead, council and board meetings are also in-person. But when the town went online, it purchased equipment and started to work closely with Carroll Media Center to be able to record and stream live. Those interested will still have the option to tune in to the meetings from home.
Hampstead’s Town Council meets the second Tuesday of every month. There’s also a planning and zoning meeting the fourth Wednesday of every month, and occasional board meetings.
In-person meetings are also going strong inside Manchester’s city government office, where Town Council as well as planning and zoning board meetings happen on a monthly basis. The office asks attendees to wear mask, and the room allows plenty of space for social distancing.
Mount Airy in-person council and board meetings are also open to the public, with the first in-person meeting scheduled for July 12.
New Windsor Town Council is back to meeting in person the first Wednesday of each month. Planning commission meetings, which occur the last Monday of the month, are also in-person.
The meetings are opened to the public and will be livestreamed through Zoom.
Sykesville government has continued to hold its meetings through Zoom as the town upgrades its conference room with livestreaming technology. The office is expected to be ready and allow for a return to in person in July.