AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – This is familiar territory for city leaders. For more than a year they held their meetings virtually before stopping last May, but now city leaders starting with Tuesday’s meeting are preparing to zoom back to the past.
With COVID hitting close to home city leaders closing the door on in-person meetings, for virtual sessions instead.
“Don’t particularly care for the process or a zoom but we are looking out for the welfare of our commissioners and our community,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.
Commissioner Jordan Johnson feeling sick after attending last week’s meeting, and then testing positive for COVID.
“That happened, I think we got a responsibility as I stated to all members of the commission that we are protecting the health welfare and safety of our members,” said Mayor Hardie Davis.
Johnson had been in close contact with other commissioners, after last week’s meeting he rode in a car with four others from the Municipal Building to the Judicial Center for a portrait unveiling, and others who attend commission meetings were there as well.
“So, eight of us were there, eight out of thirteen people who would be in that room tomorrow were in that meeting last weeks for the unveiling of the portrait and five of us rode together,” said Commissioner Ben Hasan.
Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight led the charge to resume meetings in person and doesn’t support going virtual especially after another commissioner tested positive last year.
“Commissioner Garrett had COVID, he stayed out and quarantined but we still had our meeting so how does this make it different,” said Commissioner McKnight.
Now Tuesday’s committee meetings are the first going back to virtual, but will it be the last, Mayor Davis saying the city will be looking at this on a week-by-week basis.