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Update: Councilor Albright added that

 I hope that only a limited number of people will try this out.  First -we are all just learning and secondly – there is a maximum number of participants.  While the maximum is 100 – we don’t want to overwhelm either the system or the staff.  Thanks for your help with keeping this test to low numbers.Remember the sessions will be on NewTV.

Now that Governor Baker has suspended parts of the Open Meeting Law, Newton will begin having remote meetings using Zoom, both web based and with a mobile app, videoconferencing tool  

From David Olson to the City Council:

We have been preparing today to start using Zoom on Monday for the Public Safety Committee meeting at 6:00 pm and the City Council meeting at 7:45 pm.

What is Zoom?  Zoom is a web-based video conferencing tool with a local desktop client and a mobile app that allows users to meet online, with or without video.  A Zoom meeting has one person that hosts the meeting and all other participants have equal footing. The host can share hosting responsibilities with other participants and any participant can share their screen. Meetings can have up to 100 participants.

You can use Zoom from your smart phone, a tablet, laptop or desktop computer from your home or office.  Your device should at a minimum have speakers and a microphone.  You may also want to have a webcam so that you can be seen by the other participants, but this is not necessary, and if you don’t have one, the group will still know you are participating.  Once you have joined the meeting you will be able to be recognized to speak to the group, hear the voices of those who have joined the meeting, see any presentations that are being given, and see a list of people who are participating and connected to the meeting.

You will be able to virtually raise your hand to be called on by the Chair.  Presenters will also be able to be given control of the screen to make a Powerpoint or other presentation that you will be able to see and hear.  The public can also join the meeting and the Chair can allow members of the public to speak when it is appropriate.

We have added links to the agendas in the Friday Packet and on the website and have included links in the Council Newsletter to make it easy to join the Zoom meetings.  The Clerks will also have the ability to send an e-mail meeting reminder to you before the meeting with an easily clickable link to join the meeting.  The meeting will become live a few minutes before the meeting start time.

These sessions will also be broadcast on New TV.  NewTV will log in as a participant for Council meetings and broadcast that feed to their government channel in real time.

The software also has a record feature, so the Clerk will be able to record the session for posting on the website after the meeting.

On Sunday, I will host a ZOOM test at 4:00 pm for all City Councilors to connect to Zoom and join this test meeting. I will send you an e-mail on Sunday afternoon through [email protected] that will contain this link to make it easy for you to join.

If you know of any of your constituents who might like to connect to the Council meetings please let them know that at 6:00 pm on Sunday, I will also be conducting a test for the public to try and connect.  The URL for the Public participants test will be https://zoom.us/j/518798204



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