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Starting this week, the City of Mountlake Terrace will require registration for anyone wishing to provide public comment via Zoom or telephone during public meetings. There are no changes to in-person or written comments.
Registration for remote comments must be completed at least 24 hours in advance.
City leaders seek to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to address their local government, and they would prefer to maintain the virtual option for convenience and accessibility. However, the City Council and Planning Commission both were targeted recently with hate speech from anonymous online participants. In both cases, the commenters hid behind blank screens and fake names linked to extremist ideology.
The city repeatedly has denounced these cowardly attacks on the public comment process.
“We always want to hear from residents, businesses and other community partners,” City Manager Jeff Niten said. “Public comments and civic discourse are crucial to our work. But we will not allow public meetings to be co-opted as a platform for hate speech.”
Find the remote comment registration form and other City Council meeting information at www.cityofmlt.com/129. Boards and Commissions webpages also have been updated to reflect the change.