Clinton Township meetings to remain virtual until Dec. 31

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published April 30, 2021

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Barring future resolutions, all official Clinton Township meetings will occur in a virtual setting until Dec. 31.

The decision was approved by a 5-2 Board of Trustees vote on April 12, with Supervisor Bob Cannon and Clerk Kim Meltzer dissenting against the motion.

The emergency declaration, which pertains to the Board of Trustees, Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals, was originally intended to conclude June 7.

It was put forth initially due to rising COVID-19 cases in the community and state. Cannon, pursuant to the Emergency Management Act, has the authority to declare a state of emergency “where a threat of severe or widespread harm resulting in injury exists.”

The original declaration occurred April 6 and lasted for only a seven-day period, prompting board members to vote on a future long-term resolution.

Following a discussion that included a potential compromise of a mid-September return to physical meetings, Trustee Mike Keys made a motion to amend the June 7 date to Dec. 31.

“I think it would be great to have regular public updates … both in June and September to not only give board members reassurance, but the public reassurance, that what we’re doing is not only in line with state law, but that we’re protecting the residents,” Keys said.

Trustee Jenifer “Joie” West seconded the motion, saying that “Michigan is the epicenter and hot spot of the country” as it pertains to COVID-19 statistics.

“If we get to that point in September where we have to extend it, I would be the first to say, ‘Let’s extend it,’” Cannon said prior to the motion’s approval. “But I think it’s going too far and digging our heels to the ground.”

Township Attorney Jack Dolan said the difficulty at the onset of the pandemic was related to scheduling and questions regarding whether further extensions would be necessary.

Evaluations could lead to the board revisiting the declaration and possibly putting forth a new resolution with an earlier return date than Dec. 31.

This resolution does not shut down the township as a whole.