City and State Public Meeting Update

March 18, 2020

On March 6, 2020, the Governor of Indiana declared a public health emergency, and on March 17, 2020, issued an Executive Order containing directives in response to the Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) Epidemic.  City of Richmond Officials have closely monitored this situation through consultations with local and state elected officials, and healthcare professionals.  The City’s priority remains the health and safety of the residents of Richmond.  In an effort to achieve compliance with the recommendations of the Indiana State Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control, the City Administration has explored all available options as they pertain to the continued scheduling of public meetings of all City Boards and Commissions.

The Governor’s Executive Order provides that all “[p]ublic meetings should be limited to only essential matters critical to the operations of the governmental agency or entity for the duration of the  public health emergency.”  The City of Richmond’s Board and Commissions will address all issues on a case-by-case basis so as to determine whether any particular item warrants a public meeting being called to order during the duration of the public health emergency.  If a meeting is scheduled, it is now permissible to allow for one (1) member of the public body to be physically present, with the other members participating via electronic means.

If a member of the public desires to observe any public meetings during the public health emergency, the use of remote attendance, such as viewing via a live stream, is strongly encouraged.  Certain restrictions regarding attendance at public meetings may be implemented by the City. Further, if any member of the public desires to provide public comment to a City Board or Commission, it is strongly encouraged that such comments be provided via remote submission.  Although the essential business of all City Boards and Commissions will carry on, we ask that the public undertake all reasonable efforts to adhere to the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and Indiana State Department of Health so as to assist in protecting the health and safety of all Richmond residents.   

Questions regarding the implementation of modified public meeting procedures may be directed to AJ Sickmann, City Attorney.

Click to download a pdf of the release.

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