Aspen officials attempt to do the public’s business in a virtual world

The Aspen Times: The mundane government meetings that civically minded Roaring Fork Valley residents had endured pre-pandemic have turned into a virtual buffet of technological and public comment challenges, and a glimpse into the personal spaces of public officials who have conducted business from their bedrooms, patios, living rooms, kitchens and even their treadmills for the past three months.

Welcome to the COVID-19 virtual meeting world, where the phrase “can you hear me now?” has been resurrected from its mobile phone advertising slogan days.

At virtually every government meeting throughout the Roaring Fork Valley that shifted to platforms like Zoom and Cisco WebEx in mid-March, participants have fumbled with their mute buttons, internet connections and hand-raising abilities, to name a few glitches.

Whether it’s elected officials, government staffers or presenters, it’s taken some time to get used to conducting public business from their private spaces.

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