Local governments are responding to the COVID-19 challenge the way they always do – with leadership and and a commitment to keeping the public safe. We’ve been in the trenches with you serving communities for over 25 years, and we are here to help now by sharing ideas and facilitating exploration of the urgent issues you are facing.
- Last week one of our clients, the City of Kenmore, WA, conducted a public meeting on a fiscal sustainability project we’re helping them with, by switching to video conferencing after large gatherings were banned. Find more details in this ICMA blog post. California’s Brown Act, which requires more than half of local officials be present physically for a public meeting to move forward, has been waived for the time being, also enabling video conferencing of meetings. Check with your state on possible changes to requirements for public meetings.
- Rapidly declining sales taxes, hotel taxes and other revenue sources will require reevaluation of budgets, as the economic impacts of job losses and business closures take hold. Understanding what may lie ahead will be critical, along with developing strategies to address possible scenarios. Here are links to our articles on fiscal forecasting to prompt thoughts about how to proceed.
- Having your employees work from home creates a whole new set of issues. Are you considering childcare on site? What about employees whose jobs cannot be done remotely? This has emerged as an urgent issue for many in local government as the work landscape has shifted in dramatic ways. It’s important that human resources policies provide adequate guidance.
- As local governments shift from general goal-setting to crisis response, developing service level priorities for the short term may be essential to live within reduced revenue streams. What priorities will your management team establish? What are your governing body’s priorities?
Please let us know your questions and challenges and share your good ideas. Given our broad contacts in the local government community, we want to help facilitate strategies to help you cope. We are here to help ensure your organization can meet community needs during this unprecedented event.