Farmington council talks return to in-person meetings

With new Executive Orders relaxing restrictions on more businesses and indoor/outdoor gatherings, Farmington city council members talked Monday about a return to in-person meetings.

Officials have been meeting since March via the Zoom videoconferencing platform, after Governor Gretchen Whitmer closed public buildings to slow the spread of COVID-19. Last week, Whitmer increased capacity at indoor gatherings from 10 people to 20 people per 1,000 square feet, or 20 percent of fixed seating capacity.

Mayor Pro Tem Joe LaRussa raised the topic, asking about any preliminary discussions related to meeting in person. City manager David Murphy said city attorney Tom Schultz “wanted a little more time to review it.”

Murphy asked officials whether they’d want to go back to meeting at City Hall, if possible.

“I personally think we get a little more done when we have face to face interaction,” Mayor Sara Bowman said, adding, “I’m always going to default to what makes everybody more comfortable.”

Council member David Delind asked whether officials could maintain a call-in line for anyone who wanted to attend, but wasn’t comfortable meeting in person. LaRussa and council member Maria Taylor supported that idea.

Officials will likely discuss the topic again during their October 5 virtual meeting.

Reported by