The Chelsea City Council met virtually Monday night via teleconferencing that is now allowed by the governor’s Executive Order 20-15, which temporarily relaxes the requirements for Open Public Meetings.
The City Council approved a very limited agenda, which included the minutes from the previous meeting, city bills, staff and City Council reports.
In an about 14-minute meeting where all votes were cast via roll call, city officials reminded residents that staff was working remotely and that all essential services, including police, water, wastewater, electric, sanitation and DPW services continue.
City Manager John Hanifan asked that residents please not call 9-1-1 to report social distancing complaints, rather call 475-1771, opt 3 or 475-1771 opt. 7, which is the anonymous police tip line.
Hanifan thanked everyone for their patience with the new technology, explaining that teleconferencing is one option and that since no one knows how long before things will go back to normal, the city might also consider online video conferencing in the future.
Both he and Mayor Melissa Johnson told residents to check the city’s website for information and that emergency news such as closures would be provided by Nixel.
Council Member Tony Iannelli asked if there would be any disruptions in brush pick up and Hanifan said that normal services are proceeding as scheduled but that with scaled-back crews it may take a little longer to get through town.
Council Member Rick Catherman took the opportunity as a teacher at the high school to express his disappointment that the COVID-19 has caused a disruption to the school year, especially for the Class of 2020. He said he looked forward to being able to celebrate them when the governor gives an all clear.
Johnson said that there are numerous resources available on the city’s website that include links for volunteering, donations, mental health, small businesses and prevention. She said the lead agencies during this time were the county and the state and that the No. 1 thing that everyone could do is Stay At Home.
There were about 12 people on the conference call, but no one asked to speak during the public comment portion.
A link to the meeting can be found here.
The governor’s executive order can be found below.EO-2020-15-Emergency-order-OMA-final-signedl-1