About two weeks before the new board is set to take over, the old board is holding a special meeting March 24 at 9 a.m. at City Commission Chambers, to declare a state of health emergency. If the City Commission passes the resolution declaring the emergency, it will dissolve much of the corporate-body power, handing it over to Mayor Sandra Whitehead and City Manager Morris Madrid.
The public and press have been told only the City Commission and staff may attend the meeting. The public may hear the meeting, according to the notice on the City website. It will be broadcast on KCHS radio. Evidently it will not be streamed live and the public will have to wait for the city to post the meeting to YouTube. The last City meeting posted to YouTube is Jan. 29, so a month’s lag time, at least, is to be expected.
Several calls to several departments at the city all rolled over to Tammy Gardner’s phone, City Manager Morris Madrid’s administrative assistant, so evidently the phones are not being manned.
The resolution does not make it clear if either Whitehead or Madrid may act alone or if both must act in concert.
They can “conduct such emergency measures as may be appropriate,” write checks, sign contracts, enter into Joint Powers Agreements and Memorandums of Understanding, if reviewed by the City attorney and if Finance Director Carole Kirkpatrick says the money is available.
The resolution also gives Kirkpatrick the authority to create an emergency account up to $250,000 to address the health emergency, the money to be spent on overtime, contract labor, computers, smart phones, electrical equipment and telecommunication services so city workers can work remotely.
The City did not respond by press time to an email requesting the Sierra County Sun be allowed to attend the emergency meeting.