The Danville Town Council is set to debate Tuesday whether to continue holding its meetings virtually, as a second year of the COVID-19 pandemic nears an end and the world grapples with understanding the implications of variants that have emerged, most notably omicron, which was discovered in a Bay Area patient last week.
An executive order signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in March 2020 temporarily suspended provisions of the Brown Act, allowing for local governing bodies to conduct their meetings entirely remotely, provided the public was still able to participate and offer comments. That order expired this September, and was replaced by an Assembly bill that allows for the continued use of remote meetings under certain circumstances.
Under the bill currently in effect, governing bodies may continue to meet remotely when a state of emergency has been declared by the governor, and when social distancing measures are or would be recommended by state or local officials in response. The bill also states that governing bodies must reconsider remote meetings every 30 days.
City attorney Robert Ewing is recommending that the council resolve to continue remote meetings for all legislative bodies in the town, citing a continued state of emergency declared by the state, and preventative measures recommended by the department of public health.
The council is set for a special meeting Tuesday morning (Dec. 7) at 9 a.m. via Zoom. The agenda is available here.
In other business
The council will also discuss the upcoming Mayor's Installation and Community Service Awards ceremony, set for Tuesday night.
At the event, council members will honor community members who have made significant impacts in service to the town in the past year, as well as select a new mayor and vice mayor. The town's sitting mayor is Renee Morgan, and Newell Arnerich has served as vice mayor for the past year. Both are set to remain on the council until 2024.