The City of Mound continues to monitor progression of COVID-19 pandemic response activities directed by the Governor along with guidelines and advice from the CDC and MN Dept of Health. The risk of infection is still very present in Hennepin County. Recent efforts to safely re-open public accommodations and resume more familiar activities bring new and different risks. The Governor has recently announced moving into Phase III of the Stay Safe MN Plan and I encourage everyone to continue to assess their personal situation and make decisions that respect their wide variety of individual needs; as well as the needs of others in our community that may be different.

While more and more options for commercial services and retail, faith activities, recreation, dining, and entertainment become available; the pandemic will continue to seal the fate of most of our community-wide gatherings, celebrations, and featured events that have already announced cancelation. This is simply due to the continued restrictions on extremely large gatherings, the unknowns regarding when these restrictions might safely be lifted, and the intense and longer lead-time coordination and planning that goes into these spectacular events.

The City continues to evaluate how it performs its essential government functions. We have carefully adapted our Fire Department and Public Works services to ensure continuity and safety for both customers and clients; and Orono has done similar with Police operations. These adjustments will continue for the foreseeable future. We are also looking carefully at our administrative processes to ensure we remain accessible and capable of serving each of you as residents. Many of our services have transitioned to on-line, e-mail, and telephone support. The convenience of some of these changes will mark improvement that we will sustain long after the this disruption passes. For those with unique issues, several options to engage the right departments exist; please call the front desk at City Hall at 952-472-0600 to arrange the best option for everyone.

We are also evaluating options for hosting the variety of Public Meetings that are the core of how we do business and operate the City. This is extremely challenging and must fairly balance the expectations of a wide variety of residents, and remain compliant with Public Meeting law. Our decisions on how to host Commission and Council Meetings within the somewhat limited space for participants and principals in our Council Chambers must consider the need for social distancing that anchors all re-opening and Stay Safe guidance. We also need to factor in the capability of our technology suite to appropriately support transparency and access for anyone to participate in or review the proceedings of these public meetings. Council meetings will continue to be held the second and fourth Tuesday each month with agendas posted to the website the Thursday prior under the “Mayor and Council” section of the “Government” tab of the Home Page. Staff will continue to evaluate options and make recommendations on how we can best fulfill our public obligations; and get business done. Meeting agendas posted to the web page will include information on where and how the meeting will be held and how individuals may observe or participate in the meeting.

Ray Salazar is mayor of Mound.

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