Grosse Pointe Shores says, ‘See you in September,’ as in-person council meetings return

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published August 30, 2021

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GROSSE POINTE SHORES — In-person City Council meetings are returning sooner than expected in Grosse Pointe Shores.

Although the Shores City Council had previously voted to hold meetings remotely until the end of September, during a meeting Aug. 17 via Zoom, the council voted unanimously in favor of bringing back in-person meetings in September.

City Councilwoman Danielle Gehlert was one of those who had advocated for the return of in-person council meetings in July, which led to the issue being placed on the council’s August agenda.

Some other neighboring communities, including Grosse Pointe City and Grosse Pointe Farms, have returned in recent weeks to in-person meetings, while others, such as Grosse Pointe Park, are still meeting remotely via Zoom.

However, the decision comes at a time when Michigan is seeing more COVID-19 cases and many local health officials are encouraging people to again wear masks indoors.

“As everyone’s aware … COVID is starting to have an increase again,” City Manager Steve Poloni said.

Although COVID numbers in the Pointes remain relatively low and vaccination rates are higher than the statewide average, officials say they’re also seeing a slight uptick in COVID cases in the Pointes.

“I personally think the (COVID-19) numbers are low enough” to allow for in-person council meetings to be held again, City Councilman Donn Schroder said. Schroder is also a doctor, and he said COVID-19 cases remained relatively low at Ascension St. John Hospital, compared to where they were in spring 2020.

City Attorney Brian Renaud said cities are allowed to implement social distancing measures at their meetings under the Open Meetings Act, but they can’t limit the number of people who want to attend such meetings.

Wayne County is allowing government bodies within its boundaries to hold virtual meetings until the end of the year.

“We’ll see what happens with the cases,” Mayor Ted Kedzierski said. “We can always change it (if needed).”

Kedzierski added that he hopes the Shores can restore its informal town hall meetings, as well. No new town hall meetings had been scheduled at press time.

At press time, the next regular Shores City Council meeting was scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at City Hall. For an agenda or more information, visit the Shores website at www.gpshoresmi.gov.

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