Find below Mayor Kevin F. Voracek’s Statement and Determination Regarding Conducting Meetings by Telephone or Other Electronic Means approved earlier this year, and still in effect:
As the Mayor of the City of Faribault, Minnesota I find as follows:
a. The spread of COVID-19 in the United States and Minnesota has raised serious public health concerns and resulted in a great deal of uncertainty. Much remains unknown about the virus, how it spreads and the likely extent of infection.
b. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization determined that the COVID-19 outbreak constitutes a pandemic. On March 13, 2020, President Trump declared a national state of emergency as a result of the pandemic.
c. On March 13, 2020, Governor Tim Walz issued Emergency Executive Order 20-01 declaring a state of peacetime emergency to address the COVID-19 pandemic in Minnesota.
d. The Minnesota Department of Health has provided specific guidance encouraging postponement or cancelation of events that do not allow social distancing of at least six feet per person, which is generally not practical to achieve in the City Council chambers or in the other rooms where the City’s boards and commissions may meet.
e. Minnesota Statutes, section 13D.021 authorizes cities to meet by telephone or other electronic means if the presiding officer, chief legal counsel, or chief administrative officer determines that meeting in person or by interactive television is not practical or prudent because of the existence of a declared health pandemic or emergency. I have consulted with the city administrator and city attorney in making this determination.
Based on the above findings, I determine as follows:
1. Until further notice, all meetings of City bodies governed by Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 13D, including but not limited to City Council meetings, and meetings of all boards, committees, and commissions of the City, shall be conducted by telephone or other electronic means because it is not practical or prudent to hold those meetings in person or by interactive television. All such meetings must comply with the requirements in Minnesota Statutes, Section 13D.021.
2. Attendance by members of the public and the presence of at least one council member, the city administrator or city attorney at the City Council chambers for such meetings is not feasible due to the health pandemic and the emergency declaration.