The Enumclaw City Council will resume its business next week — but things may look strange for a while.
As usual, the meeting will be held on Monday, April 13, at 7 p.m.
But unlike most meetings, the public will not be allowed to attend, as per Washington Gov. Jay Inslee’s March 24 proclamation, which suspended certain portions of the Open Public Meetings Act and the Public Records Act for 30 days.
“We do need to provide a way for [the public], of course, to observe it, so we have two ways,” said City Clerk Maureen Burwell. “One is through ECTV, channel 21, which is through Comcast and is for city residents only, you have to be in the city limits to receive that. And the other way is livestreaming on cityofewnumclaw.net.”
Unfortunately, while Enumclaw residents can watch, they will not be able to participate, Burwell continued.
“It would just be really unwieldy to try to have people phone in. It’s going to be difficult because all council members, and most staff members, will be video conferencing,” she said. “What we’re having people do, if they wish to speak on anything on the agenda — and the agenda will be up Thursday (April 9) afternoon — people can email me, and I’ll send it out to all their elected officials.”
In fact, the only people physically at City Hall during this meeting will be herself, Mayor Jan Molinaro, City Attorney Mike Reynolds, and two IT staff to help manage the technology.
Everyone else, Burwell said, has a “high-quality tablet” equipped with the videoconferencing app BlueJeans, and will be appearing on the council chambers’ large screen televisions.
The agenda will be limited, as Inslee’s recent proclamation also stipulated that governing bodies must only perform “necessary and routine matters” or items specifically addressing the COVID-19 outbreak.
This will include:
• Discussing/acting on a temporary waiver for lease payments for the Guest House Inn (the city owns the land the Griffin Ave. business resides on)
• Officially allocating an additional $20,000 to Plateau Outreach Ministries for increased emergency services aid to Plateau residents, and
• Informational reports and discussion about city departments during the COVID-19 pandemic, led by City Administrator Chris Searcy
All committee meetings continue to be canceled for the known future. The April 27 council meeting has not yet been canceled; if it is held, the format will be similar to the April 13 meeting.