Online City Council Meetings
By Solvang Journal Staff
Solvang City Council’s next meeting is scheduled for this eve Monday, March 30 at 6:30 PM, however, due to continuing coronavirus-related public health concerns, the meeting will not be open to the public due to the coronavirus, but people can still participate via conference call.
Since the breakout of Covid-19, many citizens were forced to drastically change their ways of living. People have started working from home; classes have been canceled, and other gathering places in numerous states have temporarily closed. Major events were called off across the country. People are shifting their work and daily lives online. Government offices, courts, businesses are shut down. These are all attempts to force social distancing, a crucially important public health intervention that can help stop transmission of the coronavirus.
Despite the continuous scare from the pandemic, life goes on and meetings are still inevitable, as is the case with the City Council meeting this March 30. Instead of encouraging in-person public participation, residents are offered other methods to have their voice heard without leaving the comforts of their homes. Most meetings will be held virtually from now on, especially now that the USA has surpassed China for most cases of the virus.
Solvang Mayor Ryan Toussaint will still be joined by other Solvang City Council members in the meeting. However, based on guidance from the California Department of Public Health and the California Governor’s Stay at Home Executive Order N-33-20, issued on March 19, 2020, to protect the health and well-being of all Californians and to establish consistency across the state in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, the City Council meetings will no longer provide in-person public participation.
City officials created alternatively online and audio methods of public participation in the council meetings, pursuant to the California Governor’s Executive Order N-29-20, which states:
- Providing an opportunity to “observe and address” telephonically or otherwise electronically, alone, meets the requirement; and
- Removing the former requirement from Executive Order N-25-20 of having “at least one publicly accessible” location from which the public may observe and offer comments. Executive Order N-29-20 now states expressly, “Such a body need not make available any physical location from which members of the public may observe the meeting and offer public comment.”
City officials created alternatively online and audio methods of public participation:
Watch the City Council meetings live on Youtube http://www.cityofsolvang.com/YouTube
Or by email and conference call:
Anyone who wishes to make a general public comment or to comment on a specific agenda item needs to send an email council@CityofSolvang.com and to state “read into the record” prior to noon (12:00 PM) on the Monday prior to the Council meeting, but some comments may not be read due to time limitations. Also, it can be joined by phone conference but needs to register for a conference phone line888-788 0099 prior to the meeting.
The City Clerk will call back at the appropriate time during the city council meeting.
One of the most important items to be discussed is potentially approving and enacting a temporary moratorium on residential and commercial tenant evictions and applying for reimbursement from the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. The City Council Member Robert Clarke said,” We are following the Governor’s lead on his no eviction order “.