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

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of June 22

Here’s what to expect this week.

Participants in a pro-choice abortion rally gather outside the Governor’s Residence on Saturday to demand a pro-life flag flying at the entrance be taken down. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Pro-choice abortion protesters march to Governor’s Residence to demand removal of pro-life flag

Rally on second anniversary of U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision also focuses on fall election.

Eddie Petrie shovels gravel into a mine cart as fast as possible during the men’s hand mucking competition as part of Juneau Gold Rush Days on Saturday at Savikko Park. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Mucking, trucking, chucking and yukking it up at Juneau Gold Rush Days

Logging competitions, live music, other events continue Sunday at Savikko Park.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Thursday, June 20, 2024

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

Pins supporting the repeal of ranked choice voting are seen on April 20 at the Republican state convention in Anchorage. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
State judge upholds most fines against group seeking repeal of Alaska ranked choice voting

An Anchorage Superior Court judge has ruled that opponents of Alaska’s ranked… Continue reading

Joshua Midgett and Kelsey Bryce Riker appear on stage as the emcees for MixCast 2023 at the Crystal Saloon. (Photo courtesy Juneau Ghost Light Theatre)
And now for someone completely different: Familiar faces show new personas at annual MixCast cabaret

Fundraiser for Juneau Ghost Light Theatre on Saturday taking place amidst week of local Pride events

Jasz Garrett / Juneau Empire
A section of Angoon along the coast is seen on June 14. Angoon was destroyed by the U.S. Navy in 1882; here is where they first pulled up to shore.
Long-awaited U.S. Navy apology for 1882 bombardment will bring healing to Angoon

“How many times has our government apologized to any American Native group?”

Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon announced this week she plans to seek a third three-year term. (Juneau Empire file photo)
Mayor Beth Weldon seeking third term amidst personal and political challenges

Low mill rate, more housing cited by lifelong Juneau resident as achievements during past term.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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

Most Read