In a matter of weeks, so much about our communities has changed. Local governments are juggling a massive number of issues in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and are acting legislatively to keep their communities safe and healthy.
Challenges range from economic to cultural and include process disruption, public health concerns, commercial interruptions, and much more. This has led to emergency ordinances being enacted to allow service continuity and protection of constituents. It’s also involved finding creative and practical ways to overcome stress on the food supply chain and local business hardships.
Early in the pandemic, the focus was primarily on figuring out how to keep local government open and running without putting constituents and municipal staff at health risk. Municipalities began adopting and amending ordinances to temporarily close municipal offices and move as many processes as possible online, including instituting virtual meetings via the web.
- City Council Meetings Go Virtual During Disaster Emergency
- COVID-19: Pennsylvania Enacts Legislation to Facilitate the Functioning of Business and Government during the COVID-19 Emergency
- Doing the public’s business by Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Albemarle emergency ordinance allows virtual meetings
- Cities and towns shift to virtual meetings to carry out public’s business
At the same time, it was apparent that essential businesses and services needed to be supported and guided on how to safely remain open. Unexpected topics needing to be addressed included face masks and coverings, practicing social distancing, enacting and enforcing stay-at-home orders, allowing curbside pick-ups, cleaning requirements.
- Mask up, Massachusetts: The rules and penalties in Bay State communities
- Doña Ana County face mask mandate approved 3-2 by commissioners after long debate
- What you need to know about Dane County’s stay-at-home order
- Conyers City Council restricts restaurants to take-out or delivery, limits entertainment businesses
As days turned into weeks and coronavirus outbreaks spread, food security became a concern and basic ‘staple’ items were in scarce supply, legislative focus turned to food truck vendors with both relaxed and new regulations, setting up food cupboards, and allowing people to begin urban farming in areas not previously allowed.
- City eases rules for food trucks, allowing service to neighborhoods during coronavirus
- Costa Mesa Temporarily Waives Permits For Drive Through Food Pantries, Farmers’ Markets
- Neighbor permission no longer required for backyard chickens, ducks in Ann Arbor
In light of the continuing crisis, municipalities and counties are still on the frontlines of the pandemic and legislating to manage a wide variety of issues. Maintaining municipal and county codes is critical to sustaining orderly and accessible knowledge across their communities of the most current regulations and resolutions. Clients are encouraged to submit code updates as soon as possible to ensure constituents and municipal officials are working with the most up-to-date code resources.
Do you have questions or need help with keeping your code and eCode updated? Contact our Client Care team at 800.836.8834 or by email at [email protected].
We’re here to help!