KNOXVILLE, Tenn — Knoxville City Council members went digital during Tuesday's meeting. They didn't meet face to face like normal in the Main Assembly Room, but instead through an online conferencing platform called Zoom.
It allowed everyone to be able to practice social distancing, the council members and public. It's in an effort to take precautions against the spread of COVID-19.
The first online meeting came with some hiccups which slowed down the usual process, but they got through it.
Highly discussed was the city's response to COVID-19 and how to be more transparent with the community.
"We want to try to keep as many people working as we can," said councilman Andrew Roberto, who introduced an emergency ordinance to allow more flexibility with bars and restaurants. "It would allow some of our restaurants to stay open and keep people employed during this critical time."
Councilwoman Amelia Parker focused on a COVID-19 funding response, sending the message city council is doing everything they can to help those struggling.
"If we do a good job doing the safer at-home practices, then not that many people will get sick and that's a win," said Knoxville mayor Indya Kincannon.
In the coming weeks, they'll be working on more plans to keep the city running. The next meeting is on April 7.
"I hope this will really give folks a peace of mind that we're continuing to work for them and we're here," said Roberto.
There was no public forum during this meeting. Roberto along with other council members are working on ways to incorporate that into future meetings.