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Howell City Council approves public health emergency; will continue virtual meetings for next two months

The Howell City Council has approved a resolution declaring a public health emergency through May 31, 2021, which will allow it, as well as city boards and commissions to continue to meet electronically.

While the Livingston County Board of Commissioners approved a public health emergency that did just that on March 22, 2021, it has scheduled an emergency meeting for March 29, 2021, to reconsider its decision.

Because of the uncertainty on the part of Livingston County’s leadership, the Howell City Council has moved forward with its own resolution.

In a release, the city said that in the absence of the State extending the part of the Open Meetings Act allowing for virtual meetings when public health emergencies are declared, and the county uncertain of its direction, its own declaration will allow city boards and commissions to continue to meet electronically until May 31.

Public Act 228 of 2020 states that between Jan. 1, 2021 and Dec. 31, 2021, public meetings may be held electronically / virtually if there is declared a statewide or local state of emergency or state of disaster.

“Although the Howell City Council intends to hold public meetings electronically during this period, we remain cautiously optimistic we can return to in-person meetings in June,” said Howell Mayor Nick Proctor. “In the interim, we will continue monitoring any guidance coming from the CDC, the State of Michigan and the Livingston County Health Department.”

For instructions on how to participate in City of Howell meetings, visit www.cityofhowell.org.

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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.

2 Comments

  1. So what happens if the county reverses itself tonight? Will the City of Howell have any legal standing to continue holding remote meetings?

    • Yes, I believe so. At tonight’s meeting, someone referenced six municipalities have passed their own resolutions; the ones I know of are City of Howell, Green Oak Township, and Pinckney Village.

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