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Marysville further tightens up council meetings and work schedules in wake of pandemic

Marysville council member Paul Wessel will not be one of the three members at the March 23 meeting.
Marysville council member Paul Wessel will not be one of the three members at the March 23 meeting.

By Jim Bloch

The city of Marysville has tightened up its protocols for city council meetings in a new attempt to blunt the spread of Covid-19.

At first, the city’s goal was to have shorter meetings with condensed agendas, even though city hall remained closed to the general public during regular business hours.

“According to corporation counsel, we are just going to approve the minutes, have public comment,” and only the most vital issues will appear on the agenda, said Fernandez via text on March 16. “We are trying to keep the meetings to basically 10 or so minutes, if we can get in and out, unless again we have important information to share.”

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By the end of the week, the city had toughened the conditions under which the meetings will be held.

“Only the mayor and three council people are showing up Monday night,” said Fernandez on March 19.

That would give the council a quorum and allow it to take binding actions on whatever issues come before it.

Except for December and some federal holidays, the council regularly meets on the second and fourth Mondays of the month at 7:30 p.m.

“All we are doing is approving the bills — in and out in five minutes,” Fernandez said.

The city attorney, normally Al Francis, will not be in attendance.

Fernandez recommended that members of the press not attend the meeting.

“Really no reason for you to come,” he said. “Again, I cannot make you not come, but due to the virus, I wanted you to know (that we’ll be) in and out in five minutes.”

Would council member Paul Wessel be among the three members attending?

“No,” said Wessel at the Marysville Meijer, March 19. “I’m too old.”

Besides the mayor and three council members, “the only people in the room will be me and my clerk (Rene Stoia) hopefully,” said Fernandez.

Only two items appear on the agenda: Approving the minutes of the March 8 regular meeting and approving the city’s bills in the amount of $43,506, electronic payments of $194,885 and payroll for April 3.

Fernandez also announced that only essential personnel would be at work in city hall and other city buildings.

“Effective at the end of business today, Thursday, March 19, for at least the next week, the city of Marysville will only be operating with essential personnel. Others will work from home and be called in when necessary,” Fernandez said. “Again, the safety of all our employees is our highest priority. Our team members are our greatest asset.”

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