Executive Order 2020-001

CITY OF OVIEDO, FLORIDA

OFFICE OF THE CITY MANAGER 

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT – COVID-19 - EXECUTIVE ORDER 2020-001 

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 March 27, 2020, Seminole County, Florida Executive Order 202-006 was issued which requires social distancing and requires that group meeting must be limited to ten (10) people or less; and

WHEREAS, the implementation of a system of meetings which are held 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 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.

            NOW, THEREFORE, AS CITY MANAGER OF THE CITY OF OVIEDO, IT IS ORDERED AS FOLLOWS:

            (a).       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.

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

(1).      All agendas shall be limited to only those crucial items for which time is of the essence. As to land use permitting issues, the undersigned will use the authority vested in him during the state of local emergency to act upon permits to the maximum extent appropriate under the circumstances with emphasis on ensuring that commerce within the City of Oviedo is maintained and that the well-being of the citizens of the City of Oviedo is protected.

(2).      If a public meeting, hearing or workshop is to be conducted, the City Council, City staff and general public will follow social distancing recommendations as published by the State of Florida and Seminole County, Florida. These include, but are not limited to, keeping a minimum of six (6) feet separation between individuals, limiting the number of participants in a single room to no more than ten (10) persons at any time, and utilizing technological means to view and/or participate in the meeting. 

(3).      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 City Clerk at bbarbour@cityofoviedo.net.  Any person wishing to deliver comments personally at the meeting shall be allowed to do so, subject to the following restriction: individuals who wish to deliver comments personally at a meeting shall be allowed to enter the meeting room or chambers to deliver his/her comments on a one (1) person at-a-time basis in order to comply with the restriction against having more than ten (10) persons in a meeting room or chambers at one (1) time.  Members of the public who wish to participate shall stage on the exterior of City Hall, be given a number in order of request and be allowed to enter one (1) at-a-time, in numerical order, to give his/her public comments.  After delivering his/her comments, each person will be required to exit the meeting room or chambers and City Hall, to allow for other participants to enter.  If the public wishes to view the public meeting at City Hall, it will be shown on video monitors located outside the main entrance to City Hall.  Meetings will also be streamed via communications media technology over the internet, and broadcast on Spectrum Channel 496.    

(4).      If a public meeting, hearing or workshop is to be conducted in accordance with social distancing 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. 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 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.

(5).      The 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 is telephonic or internet access.

 (6).     The 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.

(7).      The 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. (8).     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.

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

            (c).  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 1 day of April, 2020                                                                        

Bryan Cobb
City Manager

ATTEST:
Barbara J. Barbour
City Clerk