Marshfield mayor vetoes decision to resume city meetings
By Hub City Times staff
MARSHFIELD – On April 14, Marshfield officials voted to resume city meetings, but that action was put on hold as Mayor Bob McManus vetoed the move the morning of April 16.
The April 14 meeting was conducted using Zoom video conferencing, with Mayor Bob McManus and Alders Tom Witzel and Chris Jockheck in the council chambers at City Hall, while the remainder of the council checked in from their homes and city department heads logged in from their offices.
The meeting was the first for city government since March 19.
With outgoing Alderman Steve Mac Swain abstaining, the common council voted 9-0 to resume the meetings, but that matter was halted as McManus put in a veto on April 16.
“So, all public meetings are suspended until such time as the common council meets again on April 28,” McManus said. “The only meetings that will be going on will be the meeting taking place on the 21st – an organizational meeting – as well as the common council meeting on the 28th; those will be virtual at this point.
“The common council at that time can have another discussion on how they want meetings to move forward.
“There were discussions with some of the city staff who were uncomfortable with meeting too soon. We do feel that it is a good example to the public, if everyone is going to be on Safer at Home, then we need to make sure that does take place.”
McManus said that the council chambers were large enough to comfortably distance everyone, but he said that the city government should be consistent with the state government.
Where the remainder of the council agrees or not will be determined at the next council meeting.
“When it does come to the council, the opportunity that they will have to override it is with a two-thirds vote,” Marshfield City Administrator Steve Barg said. “In my understanding, that is two-thirds vote of all of the members, so it would require seven individuals on the council to say that they want to overturn what (the mayor) said.
“I think what you are likely to see if that doesn’t occur is some discussion on what happens next in terms of making sure that city business goes forward.”