Clinton Town Council Continues Virtual Meetings, for Now
For a brief moment, it looked as though the Town Council was set to return to in-person meetings rather than continue with its current virtual meeting set up. However, it now appears the council will likely remain meeting virtually in some capacity until at least February 2021.
In March, Governor Lamont signed an executive order in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that granted municipalities the authority to conduct town business virtually. Before the order was granted, most town boards and commissions had stopped meeting for a period of time, but the executive order allowed for town business to continue, albeit in a new manner.
The executive order was set to expire on Sept. 9, and at the Aug. 19 Town Council meeting, the members planned to meet in person for their Sept. 2 meeting. The council discussed meeting in person while socially distancing and perhaps using the town auditorium to help with the efforts.
“I think its time to get back to somewhat normalcy,” said Town Council Chairman Chris Aniskovich at that meeting.
However, the Sept. 2 meeting was still held virtually and at that meeting Town Manager Karl Kilduff gave an update on the executive orders likely being extended.
Kilduff said that on Sept. 1 the governor started a process to extend his executive orders. Kilduff explained that the governor submitted his proposal to extend the orders to a committee of state leadership, which had 72 hours to confirm the orders will be extended. The 72 hours would expire on Sept. 4 (after press time for this article) but Kilduff said “I believe the votes are in place so its not likely we’re going to have anybody say ‘No.’
“I guess for this group that means electronic meetings. The rules that allow for these virtual setups allow for virtual meetings to continue out until Feb. 9,” he continued.
Kilduff left open the possibility that the Town Council members could themselves meet in person while also using a virtual component to allow the public to participate.
We “always have means to meet in person if need be, we just have to be mindful of trying to solve the technology issues to allow the public and stay under that 25 person participation,” said Kilduff.
At the end of June, the Town Hall reopened to the public with new visitor guidelines. Plexiglass was installed in areas where employees come face to face with the public, and signs were placed to encourage six feet of distancing as people queue in line. Masks are required to be worn inside and specific doors used for entering or exiting the building.