Citing an ongoing state of emergency because of the pandemic, Vienna Town Council members on Sept. 13 agreed to readopt and extend the town’s continuity-of-government ordinance through Dec. 31.
Under the ordinance, town staff developed and implemented meeting procedures to allow electronic participation by members of public bodies, including not only the Council but boards and commissions as well, and permit the public to submit comments via written and electronic means.
Staff also arranged town meetings to allow for safe social-distancing among participants.
“It does limit what can have on your agendas,” Town Attorney Steven Briglia said of the ordinance. “They have to be items related to continuity of government. We’ve been vetting the agendas and only doing things that are time-sensitive and essential to the operation of government.”
The Council originally adopted the ordinance for a 60-day period on March 31, 2020, at the pandemic’s outset and then readopted it for six months through Sept. 30 last year.
Council members twice have readopted the ordinance for six-month periods, with the more recent extension set to expire Sept. 30.
The Council voted unanimously Sept. 13 to extend the ordinance again for a maximum of six months following the June 30 expiration of the statewide emergency declared by Gov. Northam. Thus, the ordinance will expire Dec. 31.