City of Ocean Springs

    Minutes - March 21, 2020 Special Call Meeting


    Be it remembered that the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Ocean Springs met in a Special Call meeting at City Hall in the City of Ocean Springs at 1:00 p.m. on March 21, 2020.  The Mayor presiding, Aldermen Cox, Papania and Impey were present. Let the minutes reflect that Aldermen Authement, Bellman and Blackman are attending this meeting by telephone pursuant to Section 25-41-5 of the Mississippi Code. Let the minutes also show that there is a speakerphone in the meeting room and that all those present are able to hear Aldermen Authement, Bellman and Blackman. Aldermen Gill was absent. Also present were City Attorney Nicole Sullivan, City Clerk Patty Gaston, Deputy City Clerk Vicky Hupe, Police Chief Mark Dunston, Fire Chief Derek McCoy and Human Resources & Risk Management Director Mindy McDowell. City Attorney Robert Wilkinson also joined the meeting just outside the boardroom, as to not exceed ten people in the boardroom.

    Let the minutes reflect that proper notice of the meeting was provided to all Aldermen via email and that the notice was posted online within one hour of the meeting being called.

    No public were physically present due to local state of emergency proclaimed by Mayor Dobson on Monday, March 16, 2020. The meeting was made available to the public via live stream.

    The Mayor called the meeting to order.

    The Special Call Meeting is for the purpose of any and all matters pertaining to the discussion of COVID-19 and the ratification of the Mayor’s proclamation enacting regulations to protect life and property and to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

    City Attorney Nicole Sullivan said that a the proclamation went into effect yesterday, March 20, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. which prohibits indoor dining, closes all bars, closes City parks and puts into effect social distancing of six feet or more in all facilities in the City of Ocean Springs. The Mayor said that as soon as the emergency is over, it will be lifted.

    Motion was made by Alderman Authement and seconded by Alderman Bellman to ratify the  Proclamation enacting regulations to protect life and property and to prevent the spread of the Novel COVID-19 by Mayor Shea Dobson.

    The motion carried with a roll call vote as follows: 
       Alderman Gill                    Absent
       Alderman Authement        Aye
       Alderman Bellman            Aye   
       Alderman Cox                   Aye
       Alderman Papania             Aye
       Alderman Blackman         Aye
       Alderman Impey               Aye

    City Attorney Robert Wilkinson reminded all departments to keep accurate record of all expenses related to COVID-19.

    The Human Resources Director presented a suspension of leave requirements policy (added to minutes by as Exhibit 1). She said it would be enacted in conjunction with the Administrative Leave policy. She also recommended that the city follow the state, which has temporarily suspended some of their leave requirements. Such as, the first eight hours absent due to illness will come from personal leave; employees with no accrued leave must take leave without pay; and a doctor's excuse is needed for absences. Those requirements would be suspended and as well as others contained in the document if the Administrative Leave policy is implemented by the Mayor or Board of Aldermen.

    Motion was made by Alderman Blackman and seconded by Alderman Bellman to approve temporary suspension of leave policy requirements regarding sick leave.

    The motion carried with a roll call vote as follows:    
       Alderman Gill                Absent
       Alderman Authement    Aye
       Alderman Bellman        Aye   
       Alderman Cox               Aye
       Alderman Papania         Aye
       Alderman Blackman     Aye
       Alderman Impey           Aye

    The City Clerk asked about the port-a-lets out in the city. The Mayor said that they were put out because the parks were closed and public should use at their own risk.

    Alderman Impey asked the Police and Fire Chiefs if any supplies are needed. The Fire Chief McCoy responded that he sent a request to Jackson County EOC for supplies, the first responders are Tier 2 and should be getting some supplies today.

    Alderman Papania asked how the Proclamation will be enforced. The Mayor responded that a fine of up to $500.00 would be issued for noncompliance. 

    Motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to adjourn the Special Call meeting.

    The meeting ended at 1:45 p.m.

     /s/Patty Gaston      04/07/2020             /s/Shea Dobson    04/07/2020 
    City Clerk                  Date                    Mayor                          Date