First In-Person Venice Council Meeting to be Held in Over 2 Years. Prefect Zappalorto: “Remote meetings should stop”

Opposition Councilors after meeting with Prefect Zappalorto
Opposition groups are received at Ca’ Corner. Zappalorto: “I can say that once the health emergency ended, the previous city council rules came back into force, and these call for in-person meetings”. The Fuscia party: “Commissions should also be held in person”

By Eugenio Pendolini

4 November 2022

VENICE. Politics in Venice returns to in-person, after two and half years. This is what the law calls for, after all. Prefect Vittorio Zappalorto reiterated this himself: “I don’t have control over the political bodies of the City, which I don’t want. I can only exert moral persuasion. What I can say is that once the health emergency ended, the previous city council rules came back into force, and these call for in-person meetings”.

The Meeting

Zappalorto’s comments were in part aimed at the opposition councilors (Sara Visman, Marco Gasparinetti, Cecilia Tonon, Monica Sambo and Giuseppe Saccà), who yesterday responded to a summons from the Prefect, which was requested to try to unblock the return to in-person commission and city council meetings pending the new regulations that will govern mixed-mode sessions (in person and remote).

The discussion lasted about an hour, taking place a day after the blitz of the fourth commission, which concluded its inspection of riva del Vin on the subject of moto ondoso inside Ca’ Farsetti, where in-person meetings are still prohibited. The latter was a choice not appreciated by the Fuscia and Lega councilor, who remained outside the city council offices at Rialto.

Opposition councilors hold a prohibited meeting in person in October

The Minister’s Circular

“The Prefect has confirmed that our reading of the circular by the Minister of the Interior is correct”, emphasize the opposition councilors, “Which clarifies that in the absence of a specific regulatory provision at the end of the emergency rules, now no longer in force, the procedure for holding City Council meetings should go back to the ordinary one”.

“This means that, the variation now being expired, the Statute and Regulation are back in force, and therefore the sessions of the City Council must be held in person”.

Hence the request made to President Ermelinda Damiano to return to making policy in person (as, in fact, is happening throughout Italy).

Meeting Convened

Said and done. Yesterday a meeting of the group leaders was called for Monday the 7th for the purpose of convening a City Council session for Thursday the 10th to ratify a budget variance. “So, this Council will be in person, given that the health protocol, now being updated, allows it”, Alessio De Rossi, Fusica group leader now clarifies, “I already said that clearly in recent days, but there are some who don’t want to hear. From next Thursday the council commissions will also go back to in-person”.

Fuscia and Lega

Recently the Fuscia and Lega groups have claimed that the return to in-person sessions would happen only after the new regulations on mixed-mode meetings was approved: not before. Thus, they have backed off.

“The commitment is to work on the new regulation that governs the possibilities of remote methods for series of particular cases, to accommodate life events, beginning with maternity and paternity.

It will also not escape my colleagues that, precisely in the past few days, the in-house company Venis tested the new audio-video system for the council hall at Ca’ Loredan. The work was shared with the group heads and means we will be able to count on more efficient equipment that allows us to work with modern and reliable tools”.

After two and half years, then, 10 November will mark the end of the political lockdown in Venice, six months after the end of the health emergency in Italy.

Source: La Nuova di Venezia e Mestre

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