The Oregon City Commission held a special meeting at noon, Sunday, April 26, to reaffirm Oregon City's support and compliance with the Governor's Executive Order 20-12, "Stay Home, Save Lives". The Commissioners met to address concerns raised by the State Attorney General in a letter to the Mayor and to clarify for residents and businesses that the City Commission supports the physical distancing measures that are being implemented to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
On March 23, 2020 the Governor of Oregon issued Executive Order 20-12, which implemented Statewide the necessary restrictions on citizens and businesses to maintain the health and safety of Oregon communities and has contributed to Oregon having one of the lowest rates of COVID-19 infection and deaths in the country.
The Commissioners unanimously agreed that the measures identified in the Governor's Executive Order will remain in effect until lifted as part of a comprehensive plan to reopen the economy in coordination with Federal, State, and Local agencies and that at no time did the City Commission consider issuing a directive to open businesses or facilities within the City in defiance of the Governor's Executive Orders.
In addition, the Commission clarified that any discussions or meetings held, or directives issued, by a single member of the Commission is not the will of the Commission or the policy of the City. All positions on the City Commission are elected by local citizens to function effectively as one body, with one voice, and a single member of the Commission does not have the legal authority to enact policy or give directives without the approval of a majority of the Commission members.
The Commission also recognizes the tremendous economic impact that citizens and businesses are experiencing and supports a thoughtful, coordinated and phased approach to reopen Oregon. To help support small business in Oregon City impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19, the Commission will consider a $200,000 small business debt relief grant program on Monday, April 27, 2020 that will provide up to $3,000 in grant funding to eligible small businesses to provide financial assistance during this pandemic.
The City Commissioners fully appreciate the difficulties the community is experiencing and that the tremendous sacrifices that are being made have had a positive impact on reducing the spread of COVID-19, though more work is needed before the existing safeguards are reduced. Therefore, the City Commission recommends that the citizens and businesses of Oregon City continue to follow the State's orders to stay home and save lives.
Link to Oregon Attorney General Letter https://www.orcity.org/sites/default/files/fileattachments/community/page/14681/2020.04.24_ag_oregon.pdf