Los Banos Talk
On July 7, 2021 at a regularly scheduled City Council meeting, the Acting City Manager informed the Council that the emergency proclamation issued by the City of Los Banos is expected to expire on August 15, 2021. This means that by default council meetings will return to their usual meeting location in the City Hall chambers starting with the next regular meeting scheduled for August 18, 2021 at 6pm.
Councilwoman Deborah Lewis introduced City Ordinances 1191 and 1192 in the previous meeting held on June 16, 2021 that changed both the start times for City Council meetings and City Planning Commission meetings from their original starting time at 7pm to their current new starting time at 6pm, which will be in effect for the August 18 meeting.
In the July 7 council meeting, the Council voted unanimously to recend the motion requiring facemasks and coverings within City buildings and chambers. This means that now the City is only under the state guidelines for COVID-19 safety and that citizens who are vaccinated will not have to wear a mask to attend the council meetings. This will be enforced via the honor system, according to the Acting City Manager Garry Brizzee's statement in the meeting. Immediately following the recension of the first motion, Council voted to adopt a resolution to follow the Cal OSHA guidelines for COVID-19, which also allows for vaccinated staffers to not wear masks, but requires that the employer verify this through one of three ways. 1. Self attesment. 2. Checking of Vaccine ID card or other means of verification. 3. Requiring all to wear a mask. This however only applies to city staff, and it seams that option 1 is going to be the likely option selected based on sentiments expressed at the meeting. This resolution passed 4-1 with Councilman Brett Jones Dissenting.
Even though meetings will be returning to in-person, individuals will still have the luxury of watching them on YouTube as they have been, and can still submit public comments to be read into meetings if they don't have the time or don't wish to attend in person. This can be be done by emailing the city clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply attend the meeting and speak when the floor is open for public comment, but I encourage you to attend on time, as the public floor opens for general discussion towards the beginning of the meeting.
You can watch the discussion yourself by clicking the link provided here.
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