Drew County Quorum Court passes emergency Ordinance in midst of COVID-19 outbreak
An emergency ordinance was passed by the Drew County Quorum Court Thursday, April 9, during a special call meeting that took place over conference call and was live streamed on the Robert Akin Drew County Judge facebook page at 4 p.m. in an effort to maintain the integrity of public meetings and business done by the Court during the novel coronavirus pandemic and the new rules of social distancing to protect officials and the public.
Ordinance number 2020-06 states, “under declaration by the Drew County Judge or majority of the Drew County Quorum Court of a disaster or dangerous condition which presents a substantial risk of serious harm to persons attending a regular or special session/meeting of the Drew County Quorum Court, a regular or special session/meeting of the Quorum Court shall, at the direction of the County Judge or a majority of the Quorum Court, be held by conference call, Zoom or other appropriate technology.”
The ordinance goes on to state the technology used shall make provisions for all attending the meeting. This includes County Officials, Quorum Court members, representatives of the media and members of the general public to hear all that is said during the meeting and shall allow the officials and Court to be able to speak and address all attending in the same basic manner as they could if in a usual face-to-face meeting.
The Ordinance will amend Articles 5 and 6 of ordinance number 2019-2 which states the court must meet face to face in the Judicial Building.
According to County Attorney, Cliff Gibson, Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas Attorney General is in favor of the teleconference meetings at this time.
Included in the ordinance was an emergency clause that stated, “There is significant risk to public health and safety posed by the spread of COVID-19, which made the Ordinance take effect immediately.
The Ordinance passed with a unanimous vote by the Court.