Juneau City Hall on Monday, March 30, 2020. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)

Juneau City Hall on Monday, March 30, 2020. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)

City adopts new rules to combat Zoom bombing

No notice needed for in-person testimony.

This article has been updated to correct a reference to 24 hours of notice.

People who want to offer public comment on city matters remotely will now need to sign up ahead of time.

The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly on Monday approved a resolution to that effect via an 8-1 vote that tweaked the city’s rules of procedure. The change follows multiple instances of “Zoom bombing,” in which impromptu testimony offered via the video conferencing service included inappropriate remarks or pornographic material. Under the new rules of procedure, someone who wants to comment in person does not need to notify the city clerk prior to the meeting.

Assembly member Greg Smith was the lone vote against the resolution. Prior to voting against it, Smith explained he understood the reasoning behind the change and felt that some change was needed.

“I don’t think this is the best fit,” Smith said.

[Officials consider ‘Zoom bombing’ ordinance after disruptions]

While he was the only vote against it, Smith was not the only one to voice concerns.

“I will support this, but I have the same concerns that Mr. Smith does,” said Assembly member Maria Gladziszewski.

Assembly member Carole Triem expressed concern that the current system favors people who “know how to play the game” and requiring notice for remote testimony adds another layer of friction to offering public comment.

Assembly member Wade Bryson said he empathizes with wanting to increase public participation, but “sign up or show up” is not an unreasonable requirement — especially in light of additions outlining reasonable accommodations available upon request.

“It’s as easy as a phone call,” Bryson said.

• Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.

More in News

The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Aurora forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of Jan. 29

Officer William Hicks stands with JPD Chief Ed Mercer and Deputy Chief David Campbell during a swearing in ceremony for Hicks on Thursday at the JPD station in Lemon Creek. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire)
New officer joins JPD’s ranks

The Juneau Police Department welcomed a new officer to its ranks Thursday… Continue reading

These photos show Nova, a 3-year-old golden retriever, and the illegally placed body hold trap, commonly referred to as a Conibear trap, that caught her while walking near Outer Point Trail last week. (Courtesy / Jessica Davis)
Dog narrowly survives rare illegally placed trap in Juneau

State wildlife officials outlined what to do if found in similar situation

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Public defender agency to refuse some cases, citing staffing

ANCHORAGE — A state agency that represents Alaskans who cannot afford their… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police: Gift card scam connected to hoax Fred Meyer threats

This article has been moved in front of the Empire’s paywall. A… Continue reading

This is a concept design drawing that was included in the request for proposal sent out by the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities seeking outside engineering and design services to determine whether it’s feasible to build a new ferry terminal facility in Juneau at Cascade Point. (Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities)
DOT takes steps toward potential Cascade Point ferry terminal facility

It would accommodate the Tazlina and or Hubbard, shorten trips to Haines and Skagway

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Friday, Feb. 3, 2023

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Daniel Winfree gets a standing ovation from the Alaska State Legislature as he enters the House chamber Wednesday to deliver his final State of the Judiciary speech. Winfree is stepping down next Monday when he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Chief justice bids lawmakers a fervent farewell

Daniel Winfree, in State of Judiciary days before retirement, warns about mixing politics and courts

U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, D-Alaska, stands in the well of the House Chambers with other Democrats, including former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to hear Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., deliver remarks shortly after becoming the new minority leader on Jan. 6. The speech came after a nearly weeklong stalemate by Republicans in electing a speaker after they won a narrow majority in November’s election. (Screenshot from C-SPAN video feed)
Peltola learning the House party is over

Distractions and inaction replace honeymoon headlines as Alaska’s new rep joins minority.

Most Read