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Revised Public Meeting Notice and Re-opening Plan

CHEMUNG COUNTY LEGISLATURE
JOHN H. HAZLETT BUILDING
203 LAKE STREET – 5TH FLOOR
POST OFFICE BOX 588
ELMIRA, NEW YORK 14902-0588
607-737-2850
607-737-2851 (FAX)
ckalweit@chemungcountyny.gov
October 2, 2020

To:                   Legislators, County Officials and News Media
From:               Cindy Kalweit, Clerk, Chemung County Legislature
Re:                   All meetings of the Chemung County Legislature
 
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Due to the recent increase in COVID-19 positive cases throughout Chemung County, the Chairman of the Legislature has modified the Legislative meeting re-opening plan, and public access to all meetings of the Chemung County Legislature will be temporarily restricted. The Governor’s extension of Executive Order 202.1 as extended by subsequent Executive Orders allows for the continuation of tele-conferencing and limitations on public in-person access. Live audio of all Legislative meetings will be available at chemungcountyny.gov under the Featured Links menu – Live Meetings and Video Archive. The Legislative meeting schedule and re-opening plan can be found on the County Legislature home page which is accessible through the county’s website: www.chemungcountyny.gov
 
Please visit www.chemungcountyny.gov or https://chemung.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/ to view agendas and minutes as they become available. Thank you.

 


  

                         MEMORANDUM                          

From:               David Manchester, Chairman, Chemung County Legislature
                       
To:                  County Legislators
                        County Executive
                        County Sheriff
 
CC:                  NYS OCA Police
 
Date:               October 2, 2020
 
Subject:           Chemung County Legislature
Update re: Public Meetings under COVID-19 Re-Opening Plan


 
COVID-19 Emergency

On March 7, 2020 Governor Cuomo announced a State of Emergency for the State of New York, related to the COVID-19 health emergency. County Executive Moss also declared a State of Emergency for Chemung County. Both states of emergency presently remain in effect.
To reduce the likelihood of the spread of the virus, the Governor’s Executive Order 202.1 reduced the density of gatherings (both public bodies and public in-person attendance at meetings) by temporarily suspending the Open Meetings Law. Since that time, all meetings of the Legislature have been permitted to occur via audio-recorded teleconference.
 
Revision to Plan for Re-Opening Legislative Meetings
On August 24, 2020 I published (in conjunction with input from the County Executive and Health Department) a plan for resuming in-person meetings, with in-person public presence. The plan noted that it was “subject to modification as conditions change”.
On October 1, 2020, the County Health Department noted that there has been an alarming spike in COVID cases in Chemung County; and recommended that bodies continue to evaluate opportunities to reduce public gathering and exposure.
I have revised the plan to remove in-person public presence at the meetings. The meetings will remain broadcast live via audio-recorded teleconference, and the recordings will remain available for public access. Legislators, the County Executive, and Executive staff and department heads will have the choice to attend the meetings in person or remotely.
This plan is subject to change as the response and guidance related to this public health emergency may dictate. I am hopeful that the recent spike in cases reverses promptly, and that we can resume public participation to these meetings as soon as possible.

 

Chemung County Legislature
Plan for Public Meetings During COVID-19 State of Emergency


  • Subject to modification as guidance and conditions change (current as of 10/2/2020)

  • To remain in effect throughout duration of COVID-19 emergency affecting Chemung County, as declared by the Governor or County Executive

  • Legislative Meetings will be conducted, closed to the public in-person access, adhering to the following guidelines:
    • All meetings will be held in the Legislative Chamber area of the 5th
    • Presence is limited to Legislators, legislative staff, and those invited by the Legislative Chairman or Clerk (including for all meetings the County Executive, Deputy County Executive, Budget Director, Director of Public Information, County Attorney, and all County elected and appointed Department Heads).
    • All Legislators, legislative staff, and invitees will wear masks at all times, unless the Chairperson of the meeting deems 6-foot physical distancing achieved while seated, and announces that masks are not needed.
    • Legislators and invitees are permitted to attend from other locations and participate via audio teleconference, which will be live broadcast and recorded.
    • Hand sanitization, disinfectant and masks will be available.
    • Restrooms will be cleaned before and after the meeting.
    • Restrooms will have cleaning supplies and signs directing users to clean surfaces after each use.
    • County officials will adhere to the “Reopening Safety Plan” on file with the Clerk of the Legislature.

  • Entry into Hazlett Building (Public)
    • [DELETED – all public attendance shall be remote]
  • Physical Layout of 5th Floor Legislative Chamber
    • Hand sanitation will be available at locations easily accessible to the public.
    • Pedestrian traffic will be directed to travel “one way” around the Chamber.
    • Seating will be limited to chairs that are spaced for social distancing.