Just in time for the pandemic and social distancing, Davenport is trying an experiment - offering a new way for people to get involved with local government. This week it debuted an e-comment feature for city council meetings.
Sarah Ott, Assistant to the City Administrator, says Davenport has been working for the past year to make meetings more accessible. And this is the next step - allowing people to submit comments even if they can't attend.
On the city website, where meeting videos are listed, look for the word "eComment."
"And people can click on that and it will take them to the page where they can directly leave their comments. Comments are accepted until 1:30 pm on the day of the meeting and then they are distributed to the mayor and council members for review after that."
Wednesday night's city council meeting was the first to accept e-comments, and eventually other boards and commissions may offer it too.
Currently, to stay within the rule of ten people or less, council meetings are attended by the mayor and half of the aldermen, plus a few staff people, with the rest "attending" remotely.