LEWISTON — The City Council postponed its meeting Tuesday after attempting for nearly an hour to livestream its Zoom videoconference on YouTube.

According to City Clerk Kathy Montejo, the city’s IT staff worked to resolve the issue, but believe it stems from the suddenly massive demand on Zoom, the popular video conferencing software.

The meeting was set to begin at 7 p.m. A few minutes later, a livestream appeared on the city’s YouTube channel for roughly one minute, but it was clear there were connection issues for several participants. Then the stream disappeared.

“We waited for quite a while and it never appeared online on YouTube,” she said. “It appears the overall system is simply overloaded with so much demand on the program.”

Montejo said the City Council will try again Thursday, but that it would conduct its two scheduled executive sessions Tuesday in order to “not lose all productivity tonight.”

She said the city is a paid subscriber to Zoom and is not using the free version.

As municipalities have begun holding public meetings remotely, there have been widespread privacy and other concerns relating to videoconferencing apps such as Zoom, including a new fad dubbed “Zoombombing.”

Lewiston, so far, had been spared any issues. The council and School Committee successfully conducted a budget workshop in March.

But, last week, the city of Bath was not so lucky during the City Council’s first livestream, when it was interrupted by an unknown user that shared pornographic images and profane language.

The City Council on Tuesday was scheduled to authorize Denis D’Auteuil to serve as Lewiston’s next city administrator; hold a public hearing on the fiscal 2021 budget; delay its rental registration program late fees until after the current state of emergency; and waive all interest and penalties on water, sewer, and stormwater balances until June 1.

D’Auteuil, a Lewiston native and resident, came to Lewiston in 2017 after serving six years in Auburn, first at Auburn Public Services and then for a year and a half as assistant city manager. He was named acting city manager in September 2016, following the departure of Howard Kroll. He then came to Lewiston early 2017.

In February, Barrett announced that he would retire after 45 years working in municipal government.

Barrett came to Lewiston after serving more than 20 years as city manager in Bangor. Prior to that, he was an assistant city manager for Wichita Falls, Texas. He began his career working in the budget office in Tucson, Arizona.

Barrett’s contract with the city expires at the end of June.

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