Greenville County Council voted to permanently allow members to attend meetings remotely or in-person during a special called meeting on Nov. 13.
The move came as an emergency order temporarily requiring virtual Zoom meetings expired. Prior to the pandemic, county ordinances required Council members to vote in person on agenda items.
County Council Clerk Regina McCaskill said at the meeting that the dais in Council chambers can fit five to seven people and still adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Councilman Rick Roberts cast the sole vote against the motion, saying all members should be required to meet in person and suggested that meetings be held in a larger room in County Square.
“It would take a few hours to make that room work,” Roberts said, adding that other elected bodies are meeting in person.
Councilman Ennis Fant, however, said he was worried requiring in-person meetings would put vulnerable Council members at risk, especially as the number of coronavirus cases spike in Greenville County.
Also at the Nov. 13 meeting, Council members voted to table a motion that would have allowed the County Council chairman to convene standalone meetings to hear public comments on matters not published in meeting agendas.
If approved, the move would have permanently disallowed the public to comment on non-agenda topics at regularly scheduled Council meetings.