Mayor declares state of emergency

Action gives mayor powers to act without direct council approval

Mayor Mike Wellner gained sweeping new powers Tuesday night following city council ratification of a proclamation declaring a local state of emergency.
State law allows local government to issue a State of emergency when it is “necessary and expedient for the health, safety, welfare and good order of the city.” The action was taken in light of ever-increasing restrictions being imposed as the state and country deal with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. 
Under the state of emergency, Wellner will have the power to:
Authorize emergency purchases of good and materials.
Authorize emergency purchase of services
Authorize intergovernmental agreements for necessary services
Authorize emergency costs to the labor force
Allow the city to categorize emergency expenses for possible future federal or state reimbursement.
The declaration came just hours after Gov. Tony Evers further tightened the statewide state of emergency declared on March 13 to limit gatherings to no more than 10 people at one time. Wellner expressed concern that further restrictions may limit when or how often the full city council will be able to meet. 
“We don’t know what will be next,” Wellner said. “We don’t want to panic, but we want to be prepared.”

See this week's issue of The Star News for the complete story.

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