In the Franklin County Commissioner’s meeting on May 5th, 2020, the board gathered to discuss various matters related to the county’s administration and response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This article provides a detailed summary of the meeting and highlights key points discussed by the commissioners and the public. Issues such as approving minutes, payroll, fiscal notes, feasibility studies, and reopening the county for business were addressed during the meeting.
Keywords: Franklin County Commissioners Meeting, May 5th, 2020, Franklin County, WA, Pledge of Allegiance, public comment, payroll, fiscal notes, feasibility studies, reopening county for business
The Meeting Begins
The morning board meeting commenced on time, with the three commissioners, the administrator, and the clerk present. The commissioners welcomed the audience and initiated the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance. The minutes from the previous meetings in February and April were reviewed and approved without any changes.
Payroll and Fiscal Notes
The commissioners then moved on to discuss payroll and fiscal notes. Two fiscal notes were presented for consideration. The first fiscal note proposed fund expenditures in the amount of $252,446.97, which had been reviewed by the auditor’s office and the county administrators. The second fiscal note addressed salary clearing payroll and emergency management payroll, with a total aggregate amount of $835,350.20. These fiscal notes were also reviewed by the auditor’s office and approved by the commissioners. All commissioners voted in favor of these proposals.
After the payroll discussion, the commissioners opened the floor for public comment. The first caller, Roger, spoke about resolution 2020-12 and expressed concerns about the recovery center proposed by the Kennewick Public Rivers Hospital District. Roger highlighted the lack of inclusion of the district’s contribution in the local agreement and the potential financial burden on Franklin County. He recommended considering alternatives to the proposed center, such as utilizing the county’s health services department.
Another caller, Donna Raymond, urged the commissioners to discuss measures to reopen the county for business. She referred to a statement made by JT Wilcox on the power of the County Commissioners to take action. Donna also commended Clint Didier for his initiative in reopening the county and expressed her concern about the negative impact of the shutdown on the county’s income.
A local business owner, Jack Bunger, questioned why construction permits were only being issued for existing projects and not new ones. He mentioned that it had been three months since he applied for a permit and highlighted the financial impact of delays on his business.
Michelle Andrews organized a bowling Unity rally and invited the commissioners and community members to participate. She emphasized the need to support local businesses and reopen the state. Michelle also mentioned that she had received confirmation from the county sheriffs that the rally was legal and encouraged citizens to peacefully protest.
Commissioner’s Response and Closing
The commissioners took the opportunity to respond to the public comments at the end of the meeting. Commissioner Link addressed the concerns raised by Roger, acknowledging the need to consider alternatives and exercise caution in financial dealings with the proposed center. On the topic of reopening the county, Commissioner Link indicated that the governor had the authority to extend the emergency order and that the state legislature had given him that power. He clarified that Senator Schessler had signed an extension document.
Commissioner Maloney responded to Donna Raymond’s comments, pointing out that the governor had the authority to extend the emergency order and emphasizing the importance of gathering accurate information. He suggested that the county analyze the impact of the shutdown on its income and make necessary adjustments to avoid significant financial losses in the future.
Regarding Jack Bunger’s concern about construction permits, Commissioner Maloney acknowledged the delays and assured him that the county would consider reopening construction more broadly.
Lastly, Commissioner Maloney expressed his appreciation for Michelle Andrews’ efforts and encouraged unity and peaceful protests. He clarified that the county had limited power and that state and city leaders should share their plans for reopening.
This article provides a comprehensive summary of the Franklin County Commissioner’s meeting held on May 5th, 2020. The meeting covered various topics, including payroll, fiscal notes, and public comment concerning the reopening of the county for business. The commissioners, along with public callers, expressed their views, concerns, and suggestions during the meeting. It is important for the community to stay informed about these discussions as the county navigates through the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Note: The transcript has been edited for clarity and brevity.