Restrictions in Place for Council Meeting | City Limits Number of Attendees WEDNESDAY

Adhering to President Trump’s push to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people, special guidelines will be in place as only essential business items will be on the agenda to facilitate a shorter meeting. In addition, seating arrangements will be modified to reflect recommended social distancing

PHOTO: Eric Fabbro | News | City Manager Stephanie DeWolfe, Councilmember Richard Schneider, and Mayor Pro Tem Diana Mahmud

On Monday, President Trump urged Americans, regardless of age or condition of health, to “avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people” in order to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

In the fallout of the pandemic, health officials stress the importance of limiting social interactions, keeping a safe distance from individuals to stay ahead of the curve.

It marked the first time people heard the “10” limit as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier capped the number at 50, some states cutting off at 25.

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Whatever the number, the City of South Pasadena is taking every effort to keep individuals who want to attend Wednesday’s City Council meeting safe.

As outlined by Rachel McGuire, the city’s interim public information officer, in a statement only essential city staff will be in attendance and no more than 10 people will be in the council chambers at one time.

She said community members and staff exceeding 10 in the council chambers “will need to practice social distancing and gather outside the council chamber.”

In addition, community members have been requested to email public comment instead of coming in person. The email address is:

“We have proactively cancelled all other council and committee meetings through the end of the month and will re-evaluate at that time,” said McGuire.

Added South Pasadena Mayor Robert Joe: “During tonight’s Council Meeting, we are taking an abundance of caution and following all protocols for social distancing to ensure that the risk to our staff, council and community members is minimal. This meeting is intended to be very short and to provide important information on what the City is doing to stop the spread of coronavirus in our community. All other council and committee meetings are cancelled.”

Only essential business items, noted McGuire, will be on the March 18 agenda to facilitate a shorter meeting and seating arrangements will be modified to reflect recommended social distancing. A resolution proclaiming a local emergency on account of the coronavirus will come before the council at 7:29 p.m., followed by the regular open session scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

“The top priority of our City is the health and safety of those in our community and or staff. Tonight’s council meeting will proceed but we are taking an extreme caution to ensure that the meeting follows recommended local, state and federal protocol for social distancing. We have also requested that members of the public interested in public comment do so by email. All other council and committee meetings through the end of the month have been cancelled and we will continue to assess the situation and make changes as needed.”

Wednesday’s and future council meetings are broadcast live on Spectrum/TWC Channel 19 and AT&T Channel 99 for cable customers who reside in the City; meetings are also live streamed and available for six months on the City’s website. DVD recordings of meetings are available at the South Pasadena City Clerk’s Office.