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By Shawn Raymundo

City council passed a resolution on Tuesday, March 17, declaring a local emergency amid the public health crisis that continues to unfold as a result of the coronavirus spread.

The emergency declaration gives interim City Manager Robert Dunek the authority to respond to the pandemic by entering into purchase orders and contracts, as long as they don’t exceed an amount of $50,000.

The city of San Clemente introduced strict social distancing protocols this week, limiting the number of seats available to the public for city council meetings. Photo: Shawn Raymundo

Mayor Dan Bane further explained that the declaration would allow the city of San Clemente to be “first in line for federal funding” related to the pandemic.

Bane and three other councilmembers didn’t physically attend the meeting, but rather participated via teleconference on Tuesday night. Mayor Pro Tem Laura Ferguson was the only councilmember in council chambers during the meeting.

The decision to conduct the meeting telephonically was announced on Monday, March 16, when the city issued a seven-day closure of public facilities, restricting access to residents, as part of an effort minimize interaction and stem the spread of the virus.

SR_1Shawn Raymundo
Shawn Raymundo is the city editor for the San Clemente Times. He graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies. Before joining Picket Fence Media, he worked as the government accountability reporter for the Pacific Daily News in the U.S. territory of Guam. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnzyTsunami and follow San Clemente Times @SCTimesNews.

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