Executive Order 2020-008

CITY OF OVIEDO, FLORIDA

OFFICE OF THE CITY MANAGER 

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT – COVID-19 - EXECUTIVE ORDER 2020-008 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT PUBLIC MEETINGS


            WHEREAS, on March 1, 2020, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-51, declaring that appropriate measures to control the spread of COVID-19 in the State of Florida are necessary, and therein directed that a Public Health Emergency be declared in the State of Florida; and


WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020, the Mayor of the City of Oviedo, Florida (the “City”) issued a Proclamation pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 20, Section 20-4(1) of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Oviedo declaring a state of local emergency pertaining to all territory within the legal boundaries and jurisdictional limits of the City of Oviedo; and


            WHEREAS, since those initial expedient actions, the situation involving the outbreak of COVID-19 has been vibrant from both a Nationwide and a Statewide context and the City has worked diligently to address the outbreak at the local level; and


WHEREAS, as a result of the Public Health Emergency Declaration many local governments and municipalities have been prevented from taking actions at meetings that would normally have occurred but for the declared Emergency; and


WHEREAS, Governor Ron DeSantis has issued Executive Order 20-69 which relates to the conducting of public meetings and business under these stressful and challenging times and provides for modified requirements in order that the social distancing and other medically recommended requirements to achieve public health and safety can be accomplished notwithstanding controlling law such as Florida’s Sunshine Law; and


WHEREAS, Executive Order 20-69 references the provisions of Section 120.54 (5)(b)2, Florida Statutes, which relate to procedures for conducting public meetings, hearings, and workshops, and for taking evidence, testimony, and argument at such public meetings, hearings, and workshops, in person and by means of communications media technology; and


WHEREAS, on April 29, 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order No. 20-112 that initiated Phase 1 of the Safe, Smart, Step-by-Step Plan for Florida’s recovery; and 


WHEREAS, on June 3, 2020 Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-139 initiating Phase 2 of the Safe, Smart, Step-by-Step Plan for Florida’s recovery and modifying Executive Order 20-112, calling for responsible individual activity, and encouraging all persons in Florida to follow appropriate social distancing and safety protocols issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Occupational Safety and Health Administration; and

WHEREAS, Executive Order 20-139 strongly encourages senior citizens and individuals with a significant underlying medical condition to avoid crowds and take measures to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and encourages all persons in Florida to avoid congregating in groups larger than fifty (50) persons; and


WHEREAS, on June 5, 2020, Seminole County, Florida Executive Order 2020-020 was issued stating that Seminole County will continue to follow the Governor’s Safe, Smart, Step-by-Step Plan was for Florida’s Recovery; and

 

WHEREAS, the implementation of a method of holding meetings  with the aid of communications media technology would be in the public interest and the intent of this Executive Order is to implement such a method of holding meetings and conducting the public’s business with the public being involved and participating to the maximum practicable extent; and


WHEREAS, the rules and processes provided herein are intended to ensure that all evidence, testimony, and argument presented at City of Oviedo meetings held during the Declared Emergency shall be afforded equal consideration, regardless of the method of communication; and


            WHEREAS, the City of Oviedo desires to protect its citizens, businesses and visitors; enforce the provisions of Executive Orders; implement the guiding directions of the City Council when it may act; and act expeditiously in the context of the immediate and changing public needs and challenges; and


WHEREAS, the City of Oviedo finds that the actions taken herein are necessary to protect the public interest and that such actions do not go further than necessary to do so and that these actions respect the democratic processes which govern the City, the principles of open government and transparency which are core values of the City, and the commitment to ensure public participation in accordance with controlling law which has always been a practice of the City; and


WHEREAS, this Executive Order is authorized under the provisions of Section 242.46, Florida Statutes, all applicable Executive Orders, and City of Oviedo Code of Ordinances Chapter 20, Section 20-4(4); and,


WHEREAS, this Executive Order is not inconsistent with any Executive Order issued to address the COVID-19 outbreak and is intended to further modify and amend certain provisions of Oviedo City Manager Executive Order 2020-001 issued on April 2, 2020 as modified and amended by Oviedo City Manager Executive Order 2020-002 issued on April 3, 3030 and 2020-007 issued May 13, 2020.


            NOW, THEREFORE, AS CITY MANAGER OF THE CITY OF OVIEDO, IT IS ORDERED AS FOLLOWS: I, Bryan Cobb, City Manager of the City of Oviedo, do hereby adopt and issue the emergency regulations set forth herein which are necessary for the protection of life and property, establishment of public order, and control of adverse conditions affecting public welfare resulting from a Declared Emergency. I further find that the City has recited above specific facts and reasons for finding an immediate danger to the public health, safety, or welfare and the reasons for concluding that the procedures set forth herein are fair and just under the circumstances.

 

            SECTION 1. Section (b) of Executive Order 2020-001 (as modified and amended by Executive Orders 2020-002 and 2020-007) is further amended to read as follows:


            Public meetings, hearings or workshops of the City Council and any meeting(s) authorized to be held by City Council relating to subsidiary boards or agencies shall be held and conducted in accordance with the following principles, practices and procedures:


  1. If a public meeting, hearing or workshop is to be conducted or held, the City Council, City staff, board and/or agency members, as well as  the general public are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing recommendations as published by the State of Florida and Seminole County, Florida. These include, but are not limited to, maintaining social distancing protocols, discouraging groups of people greater than fifty (50) persons from congregating, and utilizing technological means to view and/or participate in the meeting.


  1. The public may participate in a meeting by submitting comments prior to the meeting which shall be read aloud by the Presiding Officer, or designee, of the meeting during the Public Comments portion of the meeting. Anyone wishing to submit comments to be read at the meeting should submit such comments via email, no later than 2:00 PM on the day of the meeting, to the Acting City Clerk at erivera@cityofoviedo.net. Any person wishing to deliver comments personally at the meeting shall be allowed to do so, subject to the following restriction: capacity of the City Council Chambers will be limited to less than fifty (50) persons. Overflow seating will be provided in the City Hall Lobby and/or the City Hall Veranda with video monitors showing the proceedings. Meetings will also be streamed via communications media technology over the internet, and broadcast on Spectrum Channel 496. Those who wish to enter the Council Chambers to participate and make public comments will be given a number and allowed to enter one (1) person at a time in numerical order to give his/her comments. Following his/her comments, participants will be asked to return to his/her viewing area. 


  1. If a public meeting, hearing or workshop is to be conducted in accordance with responsible individual activity recommendations, the notice of the public meeting, hearing or workshop shall so state. The notice for public meetings, hearings, and workshops shall state how persons interested in participating may do so. Notice shall include posting notice of the public meeting, hearing or workshop on the City’ s webpage, on the bulletin board located at City Hall, and by email to the media and others who have been placed on routine distribution lists. The procedures for the meeting should recite how public information and participation will be provided and recite that that the public is to be provided sufficient opportunity to be heard in order to comply with relevant controlling law. As used herein, "communications media technology" means the electronic transmission of printed matter, audio, full-motion video, freeze-frame video, compressed video, and digital video by any method available.


  1. The City Clerk or Deputy City Clerk shall coordinate with the Assistant City Manager’s Office and the Information Technology Department to ensure that all technical matters are coordinated prior to a public meeting, hearing or workshop being held. Such responsibility shall include, but not be limited to, choosing the platform or platforms that will be used and verifying that each platform will work appropriately during the conduct of the meeting as well as ensuring that all necessary equipment is available for usage. The only equipment that shall be required of the public for attendance is telephonic or internet access.


  1. The City Clerk or Deputy City Clerk shall coordinate compliance with the Federal Americans With Disabilities Act with the Assistant City Manager’s Office, the Human Resources Department, and the Information Technology Department.


  1. The City Clerk or Deputy City Clerk shall with coordinate with the Assistant City Manager’ s Office and the Information Technology Department to ensure that meetings are shared with the public in a timely manner after their conclusion.


  1. Nothing in this Executive Order shall be construed to diminish the right of the public to inspect public records under Chapter 119, Florida Statutes, and other provisions of controlling law.


  1. Limiting points of access to public meetings, hearings and workshops to places not normally open to the public is prohibited. 


SECTION 2.  This Executive Order and the emergency regulations set forth herein shall become effective immediately upon execution of this Executive Order by the City Manager and the City Clerk shall provide for its widest practicable dissemination as well as specifically transmitting a copy to the Mayor and the City Council Members of the City. This Executive Order will be in effect until the expiration of the current state of Declared Emergency or until terminated by the issuance of a subsequent executive order or orders, whichever shall first occur.

                                                                       

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto

Set my hand and caused the Seal of the City of Oviedo, Florida, to be affixed hereto this 11th day of June 2020.



                                                                        __________________________________

                                                                        Bryan Cobb

ATTEST:                                                         City Manager

 


_________________________________

Elianne Rivera

Acting City Clerk