2020-02 Port of Hoodsport Commission Resolution 2020-02

Date Published: July 17, 2020
Category: Resolutions


 July 8, 2020

 A RESOLUTION OF THE PORT OF HOODSPORT COMMISSION Extending the prohibition on in person meetings subject to RCS 42.30 for the health and safety of the Port Commission, its contracted personnel and to provide an option for the public to continue to attend the proceedings remotely based upon a declaration of public emergency due to the outbreak of COVID-19

      WHEREAS, COVID-19, a respiratory disease that can result in serious illness or death to vulnerable or at-risk populations, is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is a new strain of coronavirus that had not been previously identified in humans and can easily spread from person to person; and

      WHEREAS, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) identifies the potential public health threat posed by COVID-19 both globally and in the United States as “high”, and has advised that person-to-person spread of COVID-19 will continue to occur globally, including within the United States; and

      WHEREAS, On January 31, 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary declared a public health emergency for COVID-19, beginning on January 27, 2020; and

      WHEREAS, on February 29, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee proclaimed a state of emergency within the State of Washington due to COVID-19; and

      WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020, the Mason County Public Health Department issued a COVID-19 Information Release encouraging individual with flu symptoms to practice sanitary protocol to prevent the spread of the illness and for elderly and individuals with preexisting medical conditions to take precautions of avoiding gatherings; and

     WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, the President of the United States declared a National Emergency concerning the COVID-19 outbreak; and

     WHEREAS, on March 16, 2020, Governor Jay Inslee released a proclamation reducing the size of public gatherings to 50 people or less until midnight, March 31, 2020 then extended it to July 1, 2020 in specific areas and gatherings with under 50 participants are prohibited unless criteria for social distancing is met. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends against gatherings unless Social distancing is practiced; Mason County instituted mandatory social distancing measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease.

     WHEREAS, on March 20, 2020 the Board of Commissioners of the Port of Hoodsport adopted Resolution No. 2020-01, which provided, in part, that pursuant to RCW 42.30.070, and during the state of emergency, all meetings of the Port of Hoodsport commission were exempt from the meeting notice requirements and meeting location restrictions of the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 42.30 RCW; provided, however, that the Port would continue to provide notice to the extent practicable in light of the emergency situation; and

     WHEREAS, on March 24, 2020 Governor Inslee issued Proclamation 20-28, which in part, prohibited public agencies subject to RCW 42.30 from conducting any meetings subject to RCW 42.30 unless the meeting (i) was not conducted in-person and instead provided an option(s) for the public to attend the proceedings through, at minimum, telephonic access, and may also include other electronic, internet or other means of remote access, and (ii) provided the ability for all persons attending the meeting to hear each other at the same time.  Proclamation 20-28 also prohibited public agencies from taking ‘action’ as defined in RCW 42.30.020 unless the matters were either (i) necessary and routine, or (ii) necessary to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak (collectively, “Meeting Substance Restrictions”); and

     WHEREAS, in response to Proclamation 20-28, the Port of Hoodsport implemented a procedure for its Board of Commission meetings whereby the meetings have been conducted with all Port Commissioners and contracted personnel present remotely utilizing a teleconference link provided by Zoom.  The public has been encouraged to attend remotely, with the request that public comment be submitted to the Port of Hoodsports’ Office email address by 4pm the business day prior to the day of the scheduled regular port commission meeting.  Comments received in that manner will be read into the record by the Executive Director.  Notice of these remote procedures has been posted near the door of the main port office and on the Port of Hoodsport’s website.  Collectively, these are the “Remote Meeting Procedures”; and

     WHEREAS, Governor Inslee has amended and extended Proclamation 20-28 a number of times, on May 29, 2020, by way of Proclamation 20-28.4.  Proclamation 20-28.4 provides that language from specific statutory provisions found in RCW 42.30 are waived and suspended as provided therein until 11:59 p.m. on June 17, 2020.  The restriction to matter that are only (i) necessary and routine, or (ii) necessary to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak was not included in Proclamation 20-28.4, meaning that the Meeting Substance Restrictions were no longer in effect as of May 29, 2020; and

     WHEREAS, on March 23, 2020, Governor Inslee issued Proclamation 20-25 “Stay Home – Stay Healthy.”  This Proclamation generally required that all people in Washington State immediately cease leaving their home except to conduct or participate in essential activities or for employment in essential business services.  It further required that all people in Washington State immediately cease participating in all public and private gatherings and multi person activities, regardless of the number of people involved; and

     WHEREAS, on May 4, 2020 Governor Inslee issued Proclamation 20-25.3, which amended earlier Proclamations, including Proclamation 20-25, and established a four phased approach to reopening Washington State.  This approach is called “Safe Start Washington” (the “Plan”). Under Phase I of the Plan, no gatherings are allowed.  Under Phase II of the Plan, gatherings of no more than five people outside of one’s household are allowed.  Under Phase III of the Pan, gatherings with no more than fifty people are allowed.  Under Phase IV of the Plan, gatherings with more than fifty people are allowed.  Each phase is to last for a minimum of three weeks; and

     WHEREAS, on May 31, 2020, Governor Inslee issued Proclamation 20-25.4 “Transition from ‘Stay Home – Stay Healthy’ to ‘Safe Start – Stay Healthy’ County-By-County Phase Reopening.”  This Proclamation provides that beginning on June 1, 2020, the Plan will be applied on a county-by-county basis.  It further provides that a county that has been in Phase I or Phase II for three weeks may apply to the Secretary of Health to move to the next phase, and

     WHEREAS, on June 9, 2020 Governor Inslee announced the extension of a proclamation giving high risk workers the right to protect themselves from COVID-19 without jeopardizing their employment status of loss of income.  The proclamation provides older workers and those with underlying health conditions a series of rights and protections including:  The choice of an alternative work assignment, including telework, alternative or remote work locations if feasible, and social distancing measures.  High-risk individuals are defined by the CDC and specifically include: people 65 years of age and older; and people of all ages with underlying medical conditions.  This proclamation was extended through August 1, 2020.

     WHEREAS, on June 22, 2020, the State of Washington approved Mason County’s application to move into Phase III under the Plan, which allows gatherings up to fifty people.

     WHEREAS, the Plan provides that under all phases, individuals should engage in physical distancing of at least six feet away from other people and wear cloth face coverings in public places.  Tightly enclosed spaces or small rooms will be occupied by only one individual at a time.  If occupied by more than one person, occupancy shall be under 50% maximum capacity.  Post social distancing markers using tape or signs to denote 6ft of spacing in commonly use areas.   Limit common situations that may not allow for 6 ft of distance between individuals. High-risk populations are currently defined by CDC as; persons 65 years of age and older; people with underlying medical conditions (particularly not well controlled) including people with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, people who have serious heart conditions, people who are immunocompromised, people with severe obesity, people with diabetes, people with chronic kidney disease and undergoing dialysis, and people with liver disease; and

     WHEREAS, RCW 42.30.040 provides that a member of the public shall not be required, as a condition of attendance at a meeting of a governing body, to register his or her name and other information, or otherwise to fulfill any condition precedent to his or her attendance; and

     WHEREAS, pursuant to Proclamation 20-28 and its amendments, the Port of Hoodsport has established the Remote Meeting Procedures and arranged for remote attendance by the public at those meetings.  The Port of Hoodsport’s’ remote meetings and Remote Meeting procedures have become unexceptional; and

     WHEREAS, while Proclamation 20-28 and its amendments have been in effect, the Port of Hoodsport has all of its commission and one third of its contracted personnel in the high-risk category; and

    WHEREAS, the Port of Hoodsport’s conference area in their office space is the dimension of 10 feet by 20 feet making it impossible to social distance at least 6 feet away.

     WHEREAS, the Port of Hoodsport desires to continue conducting meetings that are subject to RCW 42.30 during the COVID-19 outbreak in a manner that allows for public participation with the fewest restrictions.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, as follows by the Board of Commission of the Port of Hoodsport, State of Washington, that:

  1. The Port of Hoodsport restates and further ratifies the portion of the Resolution 2020-02 described herein.

2. The Port of Hoodsport hereby extends the Remote Meeting Procedures it has established under Proclamation 20-28 regarding remote attendance for meetings subject to RCW 42.30, the Open Public Meetings Act until it is safe to return to the limited office space to continue keeping the health and safety of the commission and contracted personnel.

3. For purposes of clarity, the Remote Meeting Procedures do not include the Meeting Substance Restrictions.

This Resolution is hereby APPROVED AND ADOPTED by the members of the Port Commission of the Port of Hoodsport, being present via Zoom internet in their regular port commission meeting and voting on this Resolution in favor  thereof at a regular port Commission meeting held on July 8, 2020, as attested to by the signatures below.

PORT OF HOODSPORT COMMISSION:          Mike Petz, Chairman Port Commissioner, Terry Brazil, Port Commissioner,  Karen Booth, Port Commissioner