City Council Will Wait On Declaring State Of Emergency Until They Receive A Directed Health Measure

WAYNE – The City of Wayne appointed members to the Board of Health before discussing possible actions if a State of Emergency would be declared.

Friday afternoon’s special meeting and every City of Wayne meeting will be held with video through zoom or over the phone.

Council members appointed Kim Schultz (Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department), Marlen Chinn (Chief of Police), Jill Brodersen (Council President), Cale Giese (Mayor) and Mark McCorkindale (Physician). When/if a State of Emergency is declared and has not come down from a higher level of government, the City of Wayne Board of Health will guide the council.

During the city council special meeting, Mayor Giese said all the businesses have seemed to be complying for the most part. His concern would be if this continues to go on and people withdraw their voluntary compliance.

Mayor Giese was also sure a State of Emergency will be declared at some point in time.

“Because that’s going to be tied in with some type of funding,” said Giese. “If it looks like this thing starting to sputter out everybody is going to declare a State of Emergency just to collect any funds that were already dispersed. I mean that’s tax payer money that our tax payers paid and we owe it to them to go back out and get as much as possible just like every other community in the state does as well.”

City Administrator, Wes Blecke is recommending council to follow guidance from another entity. City attorney Amy Miller also suggests not to pass an ordinance enforcing penalties until they get a directed health measure from either the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department, city public health board, county public health board or the governor.

Councilmember Eischeid wants to remind the public about the guidelines and do what you can to limit people in the essential businesses.

“Those businesses definitely need to be reminded,” Eischeid added. “Do what you can to limit the amount people in the store whether it’s 20 in at one time or something. They’re going to have to enact some other safety measures on their part. But they also need to be in this fight as well.”

Council president Brodersen mentioned she was on the fence about whether or not to declare a State of Emergency.

“I think we’ve taken the steps to show that we’re serious,” Brodersen mentioned. “For example, having this meeting like we’re now (teleconference) sends a message that the city takes it very seriously.”

The City of Wayne Board of Health will look to meet on Monday, March 30 to discuss the COVID-19 situation. Go to the website to find out the virtual contact information for zoom or the telephone numbers to call.