NEW BRITAIN – The New Britain Common Council will soon return to in-person meetings for public participation sessions, public hearings and meetings.
“As majority leader of the Common Council of the city of New Britain, I recognize the importance of public engagement in the legislative process of municipal government,” said Alderman Daniel Salerno in a release announcing the return to in-person meetings effective Aug. 1. “Without in-person public input and involvement it would be difficult to understand the needs of the community and to establish practices that would be of the best interest of all residents, businesses and other community groups that represent the city of New Britain. Community engagement is a necessity for good government.”
Historically there has always been in-person public participation, but due to the pandemic meetings have been remote.
“It will be nice to see everyone in the same room once again,” Mayor Erin Stewart said.
“The remote process has been difficult for a year and a half, both for the council as well as for the general public,” Salerno told the Herald Wednesday. “The technologies weren’t really conducive to good communication. It really wasn’t conducive and is not conducive to a regular meeting process.”
The council will meet once in August and then return to normal starting in September, meeting twice a month.
“It’ time to get back to some normality,” Salerno said. “We had our first council meeting July 14 that was no longer remote for council members and the only reason we waited to do it (in-person participation) in August was because notification had already gone out by the clerk of the committee that we would have remote for the general public.”
The public is invited to participate as normal and sit in at committee meetings as well.
“We encourage people to take part in their government and one of the ways is the opportunity to speak to the council on a variety of issues relative to the agenda or any other issues during public participation,” Salerno said.