Tecumseh Closes In-Person, Public Participation To Meetings

 

March 26, 2020

The city of Tecumseh declared a civil emergency during a special meeting last week, on March 18, amid growing concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak.

Members of the City Council voted unanimously to authorize the mayor to issue the declaration banning all gatherings of 10 or more people on city-owned and operated properties and facilities, including City Hall, parks and cemeteries until at least April 6.

All youth athletic practices, contests and related activities taking place in city parks are banned until April 6 as well.

Tecumseh Municipal Court sessions, including juvenile proceedings, from now until April 6 are cancelled and will be rescheduled for a later date “as shall be established by the Court in consultation with the City Manager.

“To the extent allowed by law,” the city manager may limit public attendance at city council, planning commission and other city board meetings, or cancel the meetings, the declaration stated.

Two days later, on Friday March 19, Tecumseh issued an urgent notice announcing the closing of all public meetings to in-person public participation.

“Until further order of the mayor, members of the public will not be allowed into the Council Chambers during the Tecumseh Council meetings,” Friday’s urgent notice stated.

Meetings will be live streamed on Facebook and public comments may be submitted prior to the meeting.

All activities in the Municipal Auditorium, regardless of crowd size, were also banned in the mayor’s declaration of civil emergency. Churches, schools, civic clubs and other private and public organizations were urged to consider limiting activities and programs that involving more


than 10 people.

The declaration gives the city manager the authority to adjust and revise work schedules for all employees, “as he determines to be

appropriate.”

The declaration also said the city manager may, “at his discretion,” delay or postpone the cut-off or discontinuance of utility services

for non-payment or delinquency during the emergency term.

That changed by Monday and the city released a public notice stating, “All utility accounts with the City of Tecumseh will not be turned off for nonpayment that was due March 16, 2020.

“However, you still owe this money and once the Emergency Order has been lifted cut-offs will start again. The City of Tecumseh will review the situation on April 6, 2020 to see if the City needs to continue the Emergency Order.”

When cut-offs resume, notices will be mailed out notifying customers of payment dates.

The mayor can extend, withdraw or modify the official declaration after April 6.

 

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