May 07, 2021
Message from Mayor Labriola
As you know, in March Town Council passed Ordinance 2021-03, which established permanent emergency restrictions that were to remain in place until December 31, 2021, or until the Governor allowed the current State of Emergency to expire, whichever date came first.
While we are not ready to return to “normal,” we cannot ignore the successful implementation of the vaccine and its widespread availability. Over the past two weeks, staff and Council spent time reviewing the various changes that have unfolded in COVID-19 related restrictions on the state and local level. In April, Town Council held a special workshop where we discussed our current Ordinance and specifically reviewed components regarding face coverings, social distancing, essential business, restaurants, occupancy, and large gatherings.
In our discussions, there was a great deal of consensus regarding the need to continue to require face coverings and social distancing. However, we decided the Ordinance needed to be simplified and aligned with changes that have taken place since its adoption. Therefore, we asked staff to prepare a simplified version to be considered at our May 4 meeting. Ultimately, Town Council decided the best course of action is to pivot away from a permanent ordinance back to an emergency ordinance intended to be for a temporary time frame.
The process by which ordinances are implemented is different depending on the type of ordinance. Simply put, emergency ordinances are intended to be temporary (precisely 61 days) and can be passed with one reading and extended if necessary. Permanent ordinances require two readings to implement and two readings to rescind.
Below is a summary of the Ordinance changes that took place at the May meeting:
- We passed the first reading of Ordinance 2021-07, which will rescind the existing permanent Ordinance. Until then, the current Ordinance remains in effect but will expire June 1.
- We passed Emergency Ordinance 2021-08, a simplified version that still requires face coverings, social distancing, and restaurant protocols. This Ordinance will go into effect on June 1 and remain in effect until July 4, 2021. Town Council may extend this Ordinance at any time, and we will continue to evaluate what necessary precautions need to be taken to protect the public during this unprecedented time.
Please take time to review the summary provided here for the details of the ordinance changes and other actions taken at the May meeting.