Dog barking, ear-splitting echo chamber, City Council members talking over one another (what else is new), Bridgeport’s legislative body conducted its first video/telephonic meeting in history Monday night.
The long and short of it (and it was relatively short), the agenda items see here passed with little discussion.
Still, it was something of a fascination, an announced quorum in which council members could see each other via video presumably home or in a sequestered office and the public could listen in by a phone conference line.
When OIB joined at 7 p.m. for the start of the meeting, the teleconference announced 40 participants.
Mayor Joe Ganim, as is typical, conducted the meeting, councilman Ernie Newton delivered a prayer because Rev. Mary McBride-Lee could not be heard, councilman Matt McCarthy led the pledge of allegiance, council president Aidee Nieves urged everyone to stay calm.
In these extraordinary times of social distancing technology is a work-in-progress, backup plan.
It was chaotic, surreal and real. At one point Ganim announced to council members: I can’t hear you, if you can hear me raise your hand to speak.
Monday night was not about substance, but process: how to conduct the people’s business from remote locations, beyond the cacophony of City Council chambers at 45 Lyon Terrace, during a health emergency.
And so it goes.