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City discusses approach to meetings amid outbreak

The Winchester Board of Commissioners was scheduled to meet next Tuesday afternoon for its first of two regular monthly meetings.

The meeting was canceled this week, and city officials are discussing a plan for the April 21 meeting.

“The mayor and I have talked about it a little,” Winchester City Manager Matt Belcher said. “We’re kicking some things around. We may have an in-person meeting. We may have a virtual meeting or online on the 21st.”

A decision will be made closer to April 21, he said.

Earlier this month, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron issued an opinion that during the state of emergency for the coronavirus and to account for social distancing guidelines, public agencies do not have to identify a specific physical location for meetings. The agency must identify a website or other source for the public to view the meeting.

The order also requires agencies to continue providing services, to conduct business in public meetings and allow news coverage of those meetings.

Last week, the Clark County Fiscal Court had its regular meeting in the fiscal courtroom with the magistrates and other officials spread throughout the room. The meeting was broadcast live on Clark County Judge-Executive Chris Pace’s Facebook page.

Belcher said the commissioners will probably need to meet later this month to take care of regular business including approving the bills, financial transfers and acting on personnel matters.

“The functions of the city have to move forward,” he said.

About Whitney Leggett

Whitney Leggett is managing editor of The Winchester Sun and Winchester Living magazine. To contact her, email whitney.leggett@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0049.

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