Technical Issues Prevent Zoom Broadcasts for PH Meetings

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Zoom Broadcasts

Those who have been following the City Council sessions in Prospect Heights through Zoom Broadcasts may have noticed a shift in attitude.

During the recent COVID pandemic, only a small fraction of the towns covered by the Journal & Topics for public meetings provided a Zoom option for people participating electronically.

Once featured on the agendas for the twice-monthly meetings, access codes for Zoom meetings have been withdrawn as of the middle of May.

Local station 17 and YouTube replays, according to Prospect Heights officials, are still available for live streaming.

“With the termination of the governor’s emergency COVID declarations, Prospect Heights has reverted to the structure of our meetings prior to the declaration,” said City Administrator Joe Wade. The meetings were almost canceled twice due to technical issues. If the city uses Zoom and it crashes, no one can join the meeting and we’re in breach of the Open Meetings Act.

Not only did local officials weigh in, but in April, a “porn hack” occurred on the city’s livestream during a Zoom meeting. Prospect Heights has not made any public statements about it since it occurred. Whether Wade’s mentions of “technical difficulties” were related to the porn breach is likewise unclear.

Zoom can be compromised using a porn hack that will play vulgar or inappropriate content during a video conference.

Wade added, “The Zoom feature of our meetings served its purpose during the emergency declaration period, but our priority is to function as government first.” “Elected officials may still participate via Zoom in accordance with state law.”

Wade provided an update on the Zoom problem at the Monday, July 10 meeting of the Prospect Heights City Council. He stated that the matter would be examined in the near future.