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Cape Coral City Council to hold special meeting Wednesday

By Staff | Mar 17, 2020

The Cape Coral City Council will hold a special meeting on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. to determine how it will conduct or cancel meetings as the city deals with the new coronavirus.

The items on the agenda will include clarifying rules to cancel city council meetings and how will council conduct business as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

This is assuming Council can get a quorum, which it wasn’t able to do for Monday’s meeting, forcing a cancellation.

The Monday meeting was set to go on as planned as late as Saturday, according to Cape Coral Mayor Joe Coviello.

“We had some council people who were hesitant to come to the meeting. We had a quorum on Thursday with two others calling in, but one of them got sick, so the five turned into four and we didn’t have a quorum,” Coviello said.

There must be five council members present to attain a quorum, even if there are members willing to call in, as Councilmember Jessica Cosden did last summer after giving birth during budget season.

Coviello said they were going to take special precautions at that meeting, including taking temperatures at the door and provide a general e-mail address for those who wanted to provide citizen input and have it read into the record. There would also be sanitizers in the chambers, with staff watching the meeting remotely from their offices.

Coviello had meetings Monday to discuss how the city should proceed going forward, which was how the Wednesday meeting came about.

Moving ahead, a workshop meeting is set for next Monday, with the next regular meeting scheduled for April 6.

According to the city charter, the city council is required to hold one meeting per month, which means, theoretically, it can hold its April meeting as late as the 27th.

“We’re in a highly evolving situation with the coronavirus. Everyone is anxious about what the illness could bring. The city has proactively made decision over the next 30 days to cancel certain large events,” Coviello said.

City Hall is open, although many employees are working from home. Sanitizers have been installed throughout the building, rooms are being disinfected and those who are not feeling well have been encouraged to stay home, Coviello said.

“If they have been on a cruise or traveled in the last week or two, we have asked they not come to work for the next 14 days. So, we’re taking the necessary precautions,” Coviello said.

Meetings are broadcast on Cape TV (Comcast Channel 98 and CenturyLink Prism Channel 94) and streamed online at www.cape-tv.com.

Watching meetings from home is encouraged for anyone not feeling well or those with compromised immune systems. Virtual participation in future meetings may be an option and details will be shared when they are available.

Council Chambers is at 1015 Cultural Park Blvd.