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Why no public comments at meetings?

I’ve heard that Medford City Council no longer allows public comments during its meetings. This seems like a drastic step to take. What’s the reasoning behind it, and doesn’t it fly in the face of having an open and transparent government?

Mary S., Medford

As with many government agencies and businesses, the city of Medford is trying to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Before COVID, the council allowed a few minutes for each audience member to make comments at the beginning of its Thursday meetings.

Since then, the council and audience members have been required to wear masks. Councilors have also put more distance between themselves.

Because of restrictions required for public gatherings, no in-person public comments are allowed.

However, written comments can be sent to City Council, 411 W. Eighth St., Medford, OR 97501, or emailed to PublicComments@cityofmedford.org.

Comments must be submitted by noon on the day of the meeting to become part of the public record.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.