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Santa Rosa City Council to meet virtually in April during chamber upgrades

Technological upgrades in the council chambers include new cameras and translation and captioning equipment to provide a better experience for visitors and people tuning in online.|

How to participate in council meetings

The City Council will meet online on April 12 and April 26. Residents can tune in and participate in several ways.

Meetings can be livestreamed via Zoom by watching online or dialing 877-853-5257. The meeting ID is 86208178715. Meetings can be viewed on the city’s YouTube channel.

Public comments can be made live during the meeting via Zoom. Comments can also be sent in advance by emailing cc-comment@srcity.org or calling 707-543-3005 by 5 p.m. the Monday before the meeting.

The Santa Rosa City Council will meet virtually in April while the council chambers undergo audio and visual renovations.

The upgrades mean visitors and residents watching online at home will be able to enjoy a better experience when the council reconvenes in person on May 10.

Upgrades are expected to be completed by the end of the month and cost about $300,000 in Public, Education and Governmental Access Channel funds, city spokesperson Alexa Popplewell said.

Improvements include new cameras that are faster and will provide a sharper image, Popplewell said.

Upgrades will be made to the broadcast equipment to more quickly switch between speakers and identify the speakers, she said.

Additional screens will be installed throughout the chambers for council members and the audience.

Some of the biggest upgrades will be to translation and closed captioning equipment.

The city plans to install audio and video equipment that will allow the city to broadcast and archive meetings with Spanish audio, Popplewell said.

Visitors will be able to use headsets to hear live Spanish translation. New equipment will allow the city to stream meetings on social media in Spanish and archive the Spanish stream on the city’s website.

The city also is investing in tools that will allow the city to provide live closed captioning in English and Spanish during meetings. The technology can be used to caption meetings that are held outside of the chambers, too, Popplewell said.

The captioning device represents nearly a third of the total cost for upgrades but is expected to save the city up to $120,000 a year in captioning costs, she said.

You can reach Staff Writer Paulina Pineda at 707-521-5268 or paulina.pineda@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @paulinapineda22.

Paulina Pineda

Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park city reporter

Decisions made by local elected officials have some of the biggest day-to-day impacts on residents, from funding investments in roads and water infrastructure to setting policies to address housing needs and homelessness. As a city reporter, I want to track those decisions and how they affect the community while also highlighting areas that are being neglected or can be improved.

How to participate in council meetings

The City Council will meet online on April 12 and April 26. Residents can tune in and participate in several ways.

Meetings can be livestreamed via Zoom by watching online or dialing 877-853-5257. The meeting ID is 86208178715. Meetings can be viewed on the city’s YouTube channel.

Public comments can be made live during the meeting via Zoom. Comments can also be sent in advance by emailing cc-comment@srcity.org or calling 707-543-3005 by 5 p.m. the Monday before the meeting.

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