Signs of the post-pandemic times: The Port of Hood River will begin public in-person meetings in its regular session at 5 p.m. June 22 at the Port office conference room, 1000 E. Port Marina Drive, Hood River. The conference room is on the east side of the port reception area, which is currently being remodeled.
The June 22 meeting will not be on Zoom, as there was not enough time to set up a hybrid system for meetings that are both in-person and live video, according to Genevieve Scholl, special project manager for the port. The port is working with Open Media Foundation — a nonprofit that also provides services to The Dalles — to install a livestream system. Commissioners hope to provide “greater access and transparency in the future,” she said, but until then, meetings will be in-person.
Since March 2020, port meetings have been livestreamed via Zoom, after which recordings were posted to YouTube. All of those recordings, including those of affiliated committees and the bridge Bi-State Working Group, are available on the port’s public YouTube channel. According to YouTube statistics, over time, up to 60 people have viewed individual meeting recordings.
Post-pandemic, there is already some indication that returning to “normal” public meetings may have addendums, aimed at accommodating those who have come to prefer live-streamed meetings due comfort, travel, or health concerns.
The port commission is among the first public groups in Hood River to meet in-person, as other local groups are also considering in-person meetings. Some, including the Hood River County Commissioners, are planning to continue live-streamed meetings when the commissioners begin in-person meetings in July. At the County Commission’s meeting in June, members also discussed measures to make meeting rooms safe for in-person use, including installing temporary air conditioners.
Although most The Hood River Port Commission in-person meetings are sparsely attended, Scholl said that the commission is following state guidelines that allow the room to be filled at 50 percent capacity, which is 22 people.
“We do ask folks to let us know that they plan to attend, especially if they wish to speak, but it’s not required. It’s highly unlikely we will have 22 persons in the room,” said Scholl.
The port’s meeting agenda will be posted online before the meeting.
Preliminary items include the adoption of the 2021-22 budget and reports on airport engineering, bridge work and waterfront activities.
For more information, visit portofhoodriver.com/about-the-port/meetings-and-public-notices/archives.