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[CALL TO ORDER]

[00:00:06]

>> I NOW CALL THE CITY OF ABILENE CITY COUNCIL TO ORDER. IT IS 4:30 P.M., ON THIS DAY,

[EXECUTIVE SESSION]

MARCH 26TH, 2020. AT THIS TIME, WE WILL RECESS TO EXECUTIVE SESSION, PURSUANT TO THE OPEN MEETING ACT, SECTION 551.1071. CONSULTATION OF OUR ATTORNEY.

SECTION 551.073, GIFTS AND DONATIONS. SECTION 551.074, PERSONNEL MATTERS. SECTION 551.076, SECURITY DEVICES.

SECTION 551 ABOUT BUSINESS PROSPECTS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.

FOR THOSE WHO MAY BE LISTENING ON TELECONFERENCE, WE ARE GOING TO HANG UP THE PHONE NOW AND INVITE YOU TO RECONNECT AT 5:30, WHEN EXECUTIVE SESSION IS WE RECONVENE.

[INVOCATION]

NO VOTES OR ACTION WAS TAKEN. INVOCATION TODAY. FATHER, WE ARE SO THANKFUL FOR YOU AND ALL THAT YOU ARE DOING AND ALL THAT YOU WILL DO. AND WE LOOK AT THOSE THINGS IN FRONT OF US AND OBSTACLES THAT WE HAVE AND WE PRAY THAT WE DON'T BECOME DISMAYED OR DISCOURAGED, BUT RATHER, WE ACKNOWLEDGE YOU, YOUR POWER AND YOUR AUTHORITY AND THE WAY YOU CAN DO THINGS THAT NO OTHER CAN. FATHER, WE PRAY FOR GUIDANCE, WISDOM, AS WE DO OUR JOB TO TRY TO LEAD THE COMMUNITY IN A WAY IN OUR PRAYER, OUR HOPE IS THAT WE CAN GLORIFY YOU, YOUR SON AND YOUR NAME. PRAYERFUL FOR ALL OF THOSE THAT ARE HEARING FROM THE EFFECTS OF VIRUS, THOSE ACROSS THE NATION, THOSE IN OUR STATE, THE FAMILY HERE IN OUR COMMUNITY. JUST BE SAFE. IN JESUS, YOUR SON'S

[PLEDGE TO THE UNITED STATES FLAG AND THE TEXAS FLAG]

OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND TO THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IS STANDS, 1 NATION, UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICEI STANDS, 1 NATION, UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.IT STANDS, 1 N, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. NATION, UNDER INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.O NATION, UNDE, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICEN NATION, UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.E NATION, GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. HONORABLE TEXAS FLAG, I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO YE TEXANS, ONE STATE UNDER GOD, ONE INDIVISIBLE.

>> THIS IS CERTAINLY A DIFFERENT CITY COUNCIL MEETING. THOSE WHO ARE WATCHING CAN SEE THAT WE ARE TRYING TO ABIDE BY CDC GUIDELINES AND HAVE APPROPRIATE DISTANCE BETWEEN EACH OTHER. DON'T HAVE ANYONE IN OUR AUDIENCE, BUT WE DO PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU TO CALL IN AND BE A PART OF THIS CITY COUNCIL MEETING.

BOTH ON THE CONSENT AGENDA AND REGULAR AGENDA. YOU HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO WEIGH IN ON ANY AND ALL OF THOSE ITEMS. WE WILL HAVE A THREE-MINUTE LIMIT, AS YOU DO SPEAK. WE'LL TRY TO HAVE ORDER IN THAT REGARD.

IT'S OUR FIRST TIME OUT OF THE CHUTE IN THIS MODEL AND ASK YOU TO BEAR WITH US AS WE PROCEED IN THIS MEETING. BEFORE WE DO GET STARTED, I WANT TO MAKE AN ACKNOWLEDGMENT ON TODAY, THIS MORNING, AT 10:00 A.M., WE TALKED ABOUT THE FIRST CONFIRMED POSITIVE TEST IN OUR COMMUNITY. WE MADE MENTION THIS MORNING THAT OVER 60,000 NATIONWIDE, A THOUSAND IN TEXAS AND LOOKING AT OUR REPORT FROM CONGRESSMAN HARRINGTON, 42 IN HIS DISTRICT, UP 25 FROM THE LAST TWO DAYS. WE ARE PREPARING FOR THAT. IN FACT, IN OUR PREPARATION, WE'VE ASSUMED THE VERY WORST SCENARIOS AND ARE HOPEFUL AND PRAYERFUL FOR THE BEST.

WE'RE PROUD OF OUR TEAM. THEY HAVE ENGAGED IN THE PROCESS.

I'LL SAY ONE MORE THING, WAS MENTIONING TO SOME, MY JUST DRIVE AROUND ABILENE.

SAW A NUMBER OF FAMILIES CURRENTLY MEETINGS IN PARKS AND OTHER PUBLIC LOCATIONS.

I WANT TO BE SURE TO ENCOURAGE YOU TO FOLLOW THE OUTLINES IN REGARDS TO GATHERING OF TEN OR

[00:05:07]

LESS. AND WHEN NOT NEEDED, STAY AT HOME, PROTECT YOURSELF AND PROTECT OTHERS. NOW I'M GOING TO READ INSTRUCTIONS FROM CITY SECRETARY, THE PHONE NUMBER TO CALL IN A PUBLIC HEARING IS 833-773-2663.

PARTICIPANT CODE IS 5918781. THE CODE IS 5918781. THE CODE NUMBER IS 5918781.

YOU NEED TO SPEAK CLEARLY AND MAKE SURE ANY AUDIO FROM YOUR TV AND COMPUTERS IS MUTED IN THE BACKGROUND. PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE IS A SLIGHT DELAY IN AUDIO.

I WILL LET EVERYONE WHEN THE PUBLIC COMMENT SECTIONS ARE OPEN.

PLEASE DO NOT SPEAK BEFORE THAT TIME. DID I DO IT ALL CORRECT?

>> I THINK. >> WE'LL NOW MOVE TO THE CONSENT AGENDA, CONSISTING OF

[CONSENT AGENDA]

ITEMS THREE THROUGH ITEMS 8. THESE ITEMS WILL BE CONSIDERED WITH ONE MOTION AND THERE WILL BE NO SEPARATE DISCUSSION UNLESS A COUNCIL MEMBER REQUESTS SEPARATE DISCUSSION.

DOES ANYONE ON THE COUNCIL WISH TO CONSIDER ANY ITEM INDIVIDUALLY? DOES ANY CITIZEN WISH TO HAVE ANY ITEM ON THE CONSENT AGENDA CONSIDERED SEPARATELY? IF SOMEONE IS SPEAKING, WE CANNOT HEAR YOU. AND SO I'LL REPEAT THIS ONE MORE TIME. DOES ANY CITIZEN WISH TO HAVE ANY ITEM ON THE CONSENT AGENDA, IF SO, PLEASE SPEAK UP. SEEING THERE IS NEITHER A COUNCIL PERSON OR A CITIZEN WANTING TO PARTICIPATE IN PULLING ANY ITEM, TO BE CONSIDERED, I'LL TAKE THE

MOTION AND A SECOND FROM THE COUNCIL. >> SO MOVED.

>> WE HAVE A MOTION BY COUNCILMAN MCALISTER AND A SECOND FROM COUNCILMAN.

ANY FURTHER DISCUSSION, COUNCIL? >> ROLL CALL.

[9. Ordinance (Final Reading): Receive a Report, Hold a Discussion and Public Hearing, and Take Action on Amending the Abilene Code of Ordinances, Chapter 7, Civil Defense (Stanley Smith)]

>> MOTION CARRIES. WE'LL NOW MOVE TO THE REGULAR AGENDA, CONSISTING OF ONE ITEM ON THIS EVENING. ITEM NUMBER 9. AND I'LL ASK -- IF YOU HAVE A TV OR A RADIO IN THE BACKGROUND, WOULD YOU PLEASE TURN THAT DOWN.

OR BETTER YET, COULD YOU MUTE YOUR PHONE. IF YOU COULD MUTE YOUR PHONE,

WE WOULD APPRECIATE IT. >> THANK YOU, MAYOR. MAYOR AND COUNCIL, STANLEY SMITH, CITY ATTORNEY. THE ITEM BEFORE US TODAY IS AN ORDINANCE AMENDMENT TO CHAPTER 7 CIVIL DEFENSE IN THE CODE OF ORDINANCES, AS THE COUNCIL IS AN AWARE, MOST ORDINANCES REQUIRE A FIRST AND SECOND READING. BUT THERE IS A PROVISION IN OUR CHARTER THAT SAYS IF AN ORDINANCE HAS TO DO WITH THE PUBLIC PEACE, HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE, AND ADOPTED BY AFFIRMATIVE VOTES OF AT LEAST FIVE MEMBERS, THEN THAT TWO-READING PROVISION CAN BE WAIVED AND WE CAN DO THIS IN ONE READING AND THAT IS WHAT I'M ASKING THE COUNCIL TO DO TODAY, WAIVE THE TWO READINGS OF THIS ORDINANCE, IF THERE IS FIVE OR MORE IN FAVOR OF THIS ORDINANCE CHANGE. SECTION 418173 OF THE GOVERNMENT CODE, WHICH IS THE PROVISIONS THAT THE GOVERNMENT CODE THAT WE'VE BEEN ACTING UNDER FOR THESE LOCAL DECLARATIONS AND ORDERS, BOTH ON THE STATEWIDE LEVEL AND CITY LEVEL AND COUNTY LEVEL, ALLOWS OBVIOUSLY THE MAYOR AND THE COUNCIL TO ISSUE ORDERS REGARDING THAT DECLARATION. IT ALSO ALLOWS THE DECLARATION TO BE CONSIDERED AN OFFENSE OR

[00:10:09]

A CRIME WITH A FINE UP TO A THOUSAND DOLLARS, OR CONFINEMENT IN JAIL UP TO 180 DAYS, IF THAT IS AN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PLAN. IT'S IN OUR PLAN, BUT I WOULD REQUEST THAT THAT BE PLACED IN OUR ORDINANCE AS WELL, IN OUR CIVIL DEFENSE PROVISION.

SO THAT IS WHAT THE ORDINANCE REQUEST IS FOR TODAY. THERE IS ONE CHANGE THAT I'M ASKING THAT WE MAKE FROM WHAT'S PROVIDED IN YOUR PACKET. SECTION 7, OR PROPOSED SECTION PART B, AS PRINTED SAYS AN , - OFFENSE IS PUNISHABLE BY A FINE OF NOT MORE THAN A THOUSAND DOLLARS, BY CONFINEMENT IN JAIL FOR A TERM OF NOT MORE THAN 180 DAYS OR BY BOTH A FINE AND CONFINEMENT. I WOULD LIKE TO STRIKE THAT FINAL PART THAT SAYS OR BY BOTH CONFINE AND CONFINEMENT AND PLACE AN OR BETWEEN THE THOUSAND DOLLARS OR BY CONFINEMENT IN JAIL. THE REASON BEHIND IS IN THE EVENT THAT WE PASS AN ORDER THAT WE WANT IT TO BE A CLASS A MISDEMEANOR INSTEAD OF AN OFFENSE THAT COULD BE PUNISHABLE BY JAIL, WE CAN DESIGNATE IT THAT IN THE ORDER AND HAVE IT BE A CITATION, RATHER THAN BEING PUNISHABLE BY AN OFFENSE IN JAIL. BUT I WANT TO ALLOW THE COUNCIL TO HAVE THAT OPTION IN THE FUTURE, IF THAT BECOMES NECESSARY.

NOT SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS CURRENT LOCAL DISASTER, WHICH MAY BE NEEDED, BUT EVEN IN THE

EVENT OF FUTURE LOCAL DISASTERS. >> QUESTIONS OF MR. SMITH PRIOR TO THE PUBLIC HEARING FROM THE COUNCIL? THANK YOU, MR. SMITH.

>> THANK YOU, MAYOR. >> AT THIS TIME I WILL OPEN UP THE PUBLIC HEARING.

IS THERE ANYONE WHO WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK EITHER FOR OR AGAINST THIS ITEM? IF SO, PLEASE COME FORWARD -- IF SO, PLEASE UNMUTE YOUR PHONES AND WE WILL, AND IDENTIFY WHO YOU ARE, AND WE WOULD PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR YOU TO SPEAK AT THIS TIME.

WE ARE IN A PUBLIC HEARING. SO THOSE WHO ARE DIALLED IN, THIS IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO

PARTICIPATE IN A PUBLIC COMMENT ON ITEM NUMBER 9. >> DAVID SMITH.

>> GO AHEAD, DAVID. WE'RE GOING TO START THE TIMER AND YOU'RE ON.

>> THANK YOU. I APPRECIATE YOU TAKING THE TIME TO LISTEN TO MY INPUT.

I'M A LITTLE CONCERNED ABOUT HOW THIS IS PROSECUTION, IF IT'S A LIMITED TEMPORARY TIME ON THIS. BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE MEDIA REPORTS IN THE ADJACENT COUNTY, THEY WERE TAKING INTO CUSTODY CHILDREN THAT WERE GATHERED THAT WERE TEN OR MORE.

AND QUITE A FEW PARENTS CHIMED IN, CITING THE FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY. AND OF COURSE, I KNOW IN THE GOVERNOR'S NEWS CONFERENCE, HE SAID I COULD NOT ORDER THE CHURCH'S CLOSED BECAUSE THAT IS A CONFLICT OF STATE AND CHURCH. I CAN ONLY SUGGEST THAT.

I WAS JUST WONDERING, IF THIS BILL IF IT WAS ENACTED, WOULD IT BE FOR A TEMPORARY AMOUNT OF TIME? BECAUSE THE REASON PEOPLE FOUNDED THIS COUNTRY WAS TO GET RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION AND THE RIGHT NOT TO BE ABLE TO ASSEMBLY.

THAT'S ALL I HAVE ON THAT. PLEASE STANLEY EXPLAIN THAT TO US IF YOU CAN.

THANK YOU. >> THANK YOU, MR. SCHWARTZ. >> IN RESPONSE TO THAT QUESTION, THE PROVISION FOR A FINE NOT TO EXCEED A THOUSAND DOLLARS OR A CONFINEMENT IN JAIL UP TO 180 DAYS IS PROVISION THAT IS PROVIDED IN THE TEXAS GOVERNMENT CODE.

SO THAT IS NOT THE PROVISION THAT THE CITY OF ABILENE IS CREATING ON ITS OWN. IT'S SOMETHING THAT IS IN THE TEXAS GOVERNMENT CODE THAT ALLOWS US TO DO THAT.

NOT ONLY ANY MUNICIPALITY, BUT ANY COUNTY AND THE STATE OF TEXAS, I BELIEVE THE GOVERNOR ALSO STATED THAT PROVISION. SO AS FAR AS I'M AWARE OF, THERE HAS NOT BEEN ANY CONSTITUTIONAL ATTACK UPON THAT, THAT BEING OVERTURNED. I THINK IT'S A LEGITIMATE PROVISION IN THE STATE LAW THAT WE CAN ADOPT THAT. AS FAR AS CONSTITUTIONALITY OF GATHERING IN PLACE, AND SHELTERING, THAT SORT OF THING, AGAIN, THESE ARE DYNAMIC TIMES, UNPRECEDENTED TIMES, THAT THE LAW ALLOWS GOVERNMENTS TO CURTAIL MAYBE SOME OF THOSE

RIGHTS, JUST DURING THOSE LOCAL DISASTERS. >> THANK YOU, MR. SMITH.

WE ARE STILL IN A PUBLIC HEARING. IS THERE ANYONE ELSE THAT WOULD

[00:15:01]

LIKE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PUBLIC HEARING? IF SO, JUST UNMUTE YOUR PHONES OR OTHER DEVICES AND SPEAK. AND GIVE YOUR NAME FOR THE RECORD.

HEARING NO ONE, I WILL CLOSE THE PUBLIC HEARING. >> I'D LIKE TO MAKE A COMMENT REAL QUICK. TO ADDRESS THE QUESTION OF TIMING, THIS ONLY COMES INTO PLAY WHEN AN EMERGENCY DECLARATION IS MADE. THIS IS UNDER THE CIVIL DEFENSE STATUTE OF THE CITY ORDINANCES AND IT'S NOT -- WITH REGARD TO THE QUESTION THAT CAME IN ABOUT TIMING AND IS THIS FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME. IT'S ONLY FOR THE DURATION OF

THE LOCAL DISASTER DECLARATION. >> THAT'S CORRECT. >> FOR THE PUBLIC'S BENEFIT.

AND SINCE IT'S CLOSED, I'LL MAKE A MOTION THAT WE APPROVE THE ORDINANCE AS AMENDED,

PRESENTED AS AMENDED. >> WE HAVE A MOTION BY COUNCILMAN PRICE.

IS THERE IS A SECOND? >> SECOND. >> WE HAVE A SECOND BY

COUNCILMAN RENTZ. ANY FURTHER COMMENTS? >> WHEN STANLEY INDICATED THAT FIVE OF US HAD TO, ARE THERE TWO THINGS THAT WE HAVE TO VOTE ON, ONE TO FOREGO THE TWO

HEARINGS? >> SO WE DO HAVE A MOTION AND WE HAVE A SECOND.

IS THERE ANYMORE COMMENT AND DISCUSSION FROM THE COUNCIL? WE'RE READY TO VOTE.

>> ROLL CALL. MOTION CARRIES. >> WE WILL NOW MOVE TO THE

[PUBLIC COMMENTS]

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD. I MOVE THAT WE TABLE -- WE'LL NOW MOVE TO THE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD. PUBLIC COMMENT IS FOR CONSIDERATION ONLY FOR BOTH STAFF AND COUNCIL. NO ACTION WILL BE TAKEN IN THE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD.

IS THERE ANYONE THAT WOULD LIKE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD?

>> DAVID SCHWARTZ. >> DAVID, YOU'RE ON. YOU HAVE THREE MINUTES.

>> THANK YOU, MAYOR. I JUST WANTED TO APPRECIATE WHAT YOU'RE TRYING TO DO FOR OUR CITY. AND HOPEFULLY WE WON'T HAVE TO GO TO MORE EXTREME MEASURES.

AND AS WE KNOW, MARCH IS THE START OF OUR SEVERE WEATHER SEASON.

I'M SURE MR. HANNAH KNOWS IF HE WAS IN FT. WORTH ON MARCH 2000, A TORNADO STRUCK DOWNTOWN.

THIS MONTH WE CAME VERY CLOSE TO HAVING ANOTHER INCIDENT IN OUR CITY.

IT MISSED US BARELY. BUT IT DID DAMAGE THE PRISON UNITS OUT ON THE NORTHEAST SIDE. I WOULD URGE ALL CITIZENS, IF YOU'VE NOT PICKED UP AN NOAA WEATHER RADIO, NOMINAL PRICE, AND IT IS WORTH IT. AND ALSO, IF YOU HAVE THE NEED TO BE SURE TO SIGN UP FOR CODE RED, FOR THE CITY, AS WELL AS ENABLE YOUR WIRELESS EMERGENCY ALERTS ON YOUR PHONE. I STATED BEFORE THAT AMBER ALERTS ARE QUITE FREQUENT AND YOU MIGHT WANT TO DISABLE THAT FEATURE. BUT I WOULD DEFINITELY KEEP THE SUBSTANTIAL OTHER ALERTS ON. OTHER THAN THAT, I KNOW WE'RE MOVING INTO SEVERE WEATHER SEASON. MAY IS OUR PEAK MONTH. BUT WE HAVE HAD QUITE A FEW HAILERS IN JUNE, AS WE CAN ATTEST TO THE JUNE 14TH STORM. THAT'S ALL I HAVE FOR THE COUNCIL. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR LETTING US CONFERENCE CALL IN.

I DON'T KNOW IF OTHER PEOPLE ARE LISTENING OR NOT. THANK YOU AGAIN FOR WHAT YOU'RE

DOING FOR THE CITY. >> THANK YOU, DAVID. ANYONE ELSE LIKE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD? HEARING NO ONE, I'LL CLOSE THE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD.

IT IS 5:48 P.M. AND THIS MEETING OF ABILENE

* This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.