Elimination of Zoom Broadcasts for Prospect Heights Meetings Due to Technical Difficulties

Discover why Prospect Heights City Council has decided to eliminate Zoom broadcasts for their meetings due to technical difficulties. Learn about the alternative options for attending virtually and the potential legal implications. Stay informed about the recent updates on the Zoom situation during the council meeting.

Elimination of Zoom Broadcasts for Prospect Heights Meetings Due to Technical Difficulties

Prospect Heights City Council meetings have recently undergone changes regarding their virtual attendance options, specifically concerning the use of Zoom. While a limited number of towns, including Prospect Heights, offered Zoom as a virtual meeting platform during the COVID-19 pandemic, the access codes for Zoom meetings have been removed from the bi-weekly meeting agendas since mid-May.

The city officials of Prospect Heights have clarified that they continue to provide live streaming services through local channel 17 and YouTube replays, but Zoom participation is no longer available. This decision stems from technical difficulties experienced during previous meetings, which caused delays and posed a risk of meeting cancellations. City Administrator Joe Wade explained that utilizing Zoom carries the potential of technical failures, which can impede public participation and result in a violation of the Open Meetings Act—an issue taken very seriously.

Additionally, an incident involving a "porn hack" occurred during a Zoom meeting in April, resulting in offensive and obscene content being displayed on the city's livestream. Prospect Heights has not publicly addressed this incident, and it remains unclear if Wade's reference to "technical difficulties" encompasses the porn hack incident.

A "porn hack" refers to the unauthorized use of offensive or explicit images or videos to disrupt a Zoom video call.

Wade emphasized that while the Zoom feature served its purpose during the state's emergency declaration period, the government's primary objective is to function efficiently. State law still permits elected officials to participate in meetings via Zoom for specific reasons.

During the Prospect Heights City Council meeting held on July 10, Wade provided an update on the Zoom situation, indicating that it is currently under review and will be addressed in the near future.