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Madison City Council plans to alternate between online, in-person meetings for rest of year
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Madison City Council plans to alternate between online, in-person meetings for rest of year

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With the COVID-19 pandemic waning, but not wanting to lose the flexibility of remotely meeting, the Madison City Council plans to alternate between online and in-person meetings for the remainder of the year.

The city’s legislative body is set to hold its first in-person meeting in September, or what would be 17 months since the 20-member council has gathered together outside of the video-conferencing platform Zoom.

“We’ve considered the pros and cons of each, and realize that no plan will be ideal for everyone,” council president Syed Abbas said in an email to colleagues Tuesday.

Abbas said council leadership and Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway have been discussing what a return to in person would look like now that local coronavirus restrictions are completely lifted.

Online meetings offer more accessibility to participate for both community and council members, Abbas said, but they also present barriers for people without access to internet or computers or who have difficulties using technology.

“We also believe that Council, as a body, will benefit from meeting and interacting with each other, in person,” Abbas said.

Tuesday’s council meeting was online, as will next month’s two meetings on Aug. 3 and Aug. 31. To finish out the year, though, the meeting schedule is:

  • Sept. 21, in person
  • Oct. 5, online
  • Oct. 19, in person
  • Nov. 2, online
  • Nov. 9 (budget), online
  • Nov. 10 (budget), in person
  • Nov. 11 (budget), in person
  • Nov. 16, online
  • Dec. 7, in person

Despite in-person meetings resuming, it wouldn’t be a complete return to normal as the main chambers in the City-County Building, which the City Council and Dane County Board share, is undergoing a technology upgrade. Instead, the council plans to hold in-person meetings in Room 215 of the Madison Municipal Building, 215 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Know Your Madisonian 2021: Profiles from the Wisconsin State Journal's weekly series

They're your neighbors, co-workers or friends you may not have met yet. And they all have a story to tell.

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Lessner started out in the laundromat business when he was about 10 years old helping his dad.

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The Madison Police Department's new public information officer Tyler Grigg wants to be timely, open and maybe even a little creative in his new position. 

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Rowan Childs, 44, wanted to fill her home with books for her own children to enjoy but knew not all children are able to have the same experience. 

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“I did find my passion," says Sally Zirbel-Donisch, "... it was working with not only students and families but staff and partners in the community."

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In 1992, Kathy Kuntz enrolled in UW-Madison, expecting to earn a PhD in history, but it was a temp job as a receptionist at a nonprofit that led her into what would become a career in energy.

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Michael Graf has written five screenplays: "Winter of Frozen Dreams," "The Last Indian War," "Throwing Hammers," "Venice of America" and "Picket Charlie," a just-finished environmental action picture tackling climate change.

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A poll worker and volunteer interviewer for the Fire Department, Pranee Sheskey says she enjoys being part of making democracy work.

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John Adams and Michael Moody founded the nonprofit Catalyst for Change in January 2020 to eliminate human suffering one life at a time by placing human dignity and development at the forefront of poverty, addiction and homelessness.

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Harambee Village Doulas is trying to improve infant mortality, maternal health.

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For more than two decades, the Droids Attack front man has refurbished games at his business Aftershock Retrogames. Now, he's looking to open an arcade bar.

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Tiffany Olson owns 120 plants, a Willy Street greenhouse store and a loving Havanese named Mia.

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Matt Reetz has spent years studying birds, doing postdoctoral research around the United States, Australia, the Caribbean and southern Chile.

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Since 1962, the McCann family name led efforts to make sure Hilldale shopping center is clean and safe. Now Tom McCann has retired to fish, hunt turkeys and catch Dungeness crabs.

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Tony Gomez-Phillips' prairie-inspired planting connects Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture with a garden style that embodies his views of nature and how it interacts with humans.

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Out Health, run by Dr. Kathy Oriel, is in a former dentist's office on University Avenue.

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Ken Fager turned pandemic boredom into a popular public art campaign of 3D-printed miniature state Capitols placed throughout Downtown.

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