Public Meeting Access

Introduction

The City of Haines City is using Zoom to conduct meetings remotely.  Public meetings are conducted via Zoom’s webinar service to provide a more secure and manageable environment for conducting City business in the sunshine.  This service allows the City to have full participation by board members remotely, while allowing the public to watch the meeting and provide comments during the public input sections.

Zoom for the Public

The public can participate in public meetings by joining a publicized Zoom webinar.  During the webinar, the public can watch the meeting remotely from their mobile device or listen from their telephone.  The public may also participate during the public input sections to provide their comments to the matter under discussion.

Public Participation with the Zoom App

The best way to join a Zoom webinar is with the Zoom app.  Users can install the Zoom app on any Windows, Apple, or Android device.  They can find the app in the various online stores for these devices.  The public can also join the meeting by going to HTTPS://Zoom.us web site and entering the meeting ID and password.

Logging into a Public Meeting as an Attendee

The public can log into a public meeting via Zoom to listen, watch, and actively participate during the public comment sections.

  1. Click on the link to join the meeting as an attendee.  You can be find the link on the City’s website when viewing the meeting details in the Calendar section.
  2. If you join before the host has started the meeting, you will be placed in a waiting room until the host arrives.
  3. Enter your full name (aliases and screen names will not be accepted if you wish to make public comments).
  4. Enter your e-mail address for the record.
  5. Click OK.

Audience Participation

Attendees can participate in one of two ways during the public input section of a meeting.  Users can either raise their virtual hand and request to talk or submit a written comment.

Audience Participation by Talking

Public attendees who wish to say their comments must raise their virtual hand and request permission to speak.  When the host acknowledges an attendee, she will temporarily grant the ability to speak so everyone on the webinar can hear your comments.  To participate orally, follow these steps:

  1. Click on a blank area of the screen for the Zoom app.
  2. Click on the Raise Hand icon at the bottom of the window.
  3. When the host acknowledges you, click on the Unmute Myself link.
  4. You can begin talking by stating your full name and address for the record.
  5. When your time is up, the host will mute your session.

Audience Participation by Written Comment

If you do not wish to speak or you do not have a microphone on your device, you can still participate by submitting your comments in writing as follows:

  1. Click on a blank area of the screen for the Zoom app.
  2. Click on the Q&A icon at the bottom of the window.
  3. Click the Ask Question link at the upper right of the screen.
  4. Type in your full name and address for the record and then your question.
  5. Review the answers to your questions by clicking the My Questions tab.  Answers may be in a written format by the host or verbally by the board members.
  6. You can see all questions and answers by clicking on the All Questions tab.
  7. Click the Close button to go back to the Zoom video screen.

Audience Leaving

You can leave the webinar at any time by clicking the Leave Webinar link in the lower right corner of the window.

Public Participation via Telephone

The public can access a public meeting in Zoom via their telephone if they do not have access to a computer or smartphone.  The public meeting will have several number you can use to call into the meeting.  If you are using a phone with free long distance, please use one of the toll numbers for joining the webinar.  For those who must pay for making a long distance call, you can join the webinar by dialing one of the toll free numbers, which will reverse the charges back to the City (and thus the taxpayers).  By default, the system automatically mutes all users who join by telephone.

  1. Dial the number for the Zoom meeting.  You can find the telephone numbers in the meeting details in the Calendar section of the City’s website. 
  2. Enter the meeting ID followed by [#] when prompted.
  3. Enter the password followed by [#] when prompted.
  4. To request a turn to speak during a public input section, virtually raise your hand by pressing *9 on your touch-tone phone.
  5. Once acknowledged by the host, you should begin talking by stating your full name and address for the record and then proceed with your comment.
  6. The City Clerk will mute your phone when your time limit or comments are completed.

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