Jerry Drummond (left), Mark Bently, and Jess Lofgreen were sworn in to the Meadowlakes City Council on Nov. 17. The newly elected Bently replaces former Mayor Mary Ann Raesener, who previously spent two years on the council and six years as mayor. Drummond is returning to the council, whereas Lofgreen is a newcomer. Staff photo by Mark Stracke
Meadowlakes City Council will be moving forward with reopening its chambers to the public, though with precautionary measures in place.
City Manager Johnnie Thompson will look into multiple measures the council can take ahead of December’s meeting to protect against the spread of the coronavirus. So far, ideas include either using plexiglass dividers between members in the existing council space or moving council meetings to Hidden Falls Restaurant to maximize social distancing.
“I thought what most of the council wanted was to try and leave it here and expand it by using some type of physical barriers,” Thompson said.
The council chambers are not spacious, making social distancing difficult, Thompson said.
“About 60 percent of our room is being taken up by the council,” he said. “It’s a pretty small room, so it’s pretty hard to lay out. If we can put up a physical barrier, put them a little closer together and still comply with everything, that may be the way to go.”
The other option, moving the meetings to the golf course restaurant, would provide the social distancing required but might pose logistical hurdles as far as internet connectivity and live streaming.
“I have some issues with the internet being fast enough and also the logistics of getting the audio and video moved and all that stuff. It’s not just a situation where you can walk up, plug in, and start working,” Thompson said.