County, city sign joint emergency declaration, fiscal court to stream meeting
By Joe Ross, County Attorney


Posted on March 19, 2020 12:07 PM



Today at 9:06 a.m., Logan County Judge Executive Logan Chick and Russellville Mayor Mark Stratton signed a “Declaration of a Local State of Emergency” in the form of a joint Executive Order. 

Discussion between the two officials has been ongoing throughout the week and both agree this is a necessary step to take to protect our community in light of the growing number of cases of the COVID-19 virus in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, specifically with a case identified in a neighboring county. To date there are no confirmed cases in Logan County.

This measure is being taken in preparation for what might come as the virus spreads throughout the State and Country.

The declaration allows Logan County and the City of Russellville to make swift decisions as new hurdles arise, putting our community in a better position to protect the public regardless of the day or time. Having this appropriately signed and in place will allow application for federal aid and to receive emergency expenses as they become necessary and available.

Presently, both the County Judge Executive and the Mayor feel the community is in a good place in terms of what is going on across the State and Country, and continue to work together with local governments, Emergency Management, local health care providers, and local and regional Health Departments to address this situation.

The citizens of this community are asked to be good partners with local government and observe the directives of the CDC, the Governor of the State of Kentucky, and the President of the United States.

If we all work together as a community, we will be much more successful in making it through what is surely a difficult and unprecedented time.  

Fiscal Court Meeting

In light of the current direction of National, State, and Local officials relative to public gathering, it is the Logan County Fiscal Court’s intention to conduct next Tuesday’s Fiscal Court meeting via video conferencing.

County and Municipal governments across the state have been grappling with this issue since the Declaration of a State of Emergency by the Governor on March 6 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the state.

In response to these requests, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron set forth a Kentucky Office of Attorney General Opinion, granting local governments authority to conduct public meetings remotely. KRS 61.840 mandates that a public agency “must provide meeting room conditions” for public viewing of a public meeting “insofar as is feasible.”

The Attorney General’s Opinion stated that in “virtually all other circumstances, it should always be feasible to provide a physical location for public” viewing “[b]ut these are not normal circumstances.” Relying upon the Declaration of a State and National Emergency, the Attorney General stated that, in his opinion, “it is not currently ‘feasible’ for public agencies to be required to ‘provide public meeting room conditions’” for the public to attend in person for the purpose of watching a meeting streamed online.

Therefore, in a continuing attempt to heed the advice of Medical and Government Officials at all levels, it is the intent of Logan County government to conduct next Tuesday’s meeting via a web live stream. This is a relatively recent decision so some of the details are still being worked out. Judge Chick, and First District Magistrate Tyler Davenport and I will be setting up a web location to view next week's meeting and will provide that information as soon as possible. Luckily we have done this once before last November when we conduct a meeting in this same manner so that Magistrate Thomas Bouldin could attend while out of town on business.

A formal public advertisement is required in order to comply with the statute. Only members of Logan County government and those with business on the agenda will be permitted to physically enter the meeting. Please stay tuned to our local media outlets for more information.

 




Copyright © The Logan Journal 2009 - 2020