On Tuesday, March 17, North Metro Fire Rescue District’s board of directors pass a resolution allowing the fire district to host future board meetings virtually. This resolution was made in response to the Coronavirus pandemic and a desire to increase social distancing measures and minimize risk of exposure for community members, board directors and District staff.
The novel Coronavirus, commonly referred to as COVID-19, is highly infectious and can cause severe and potentially fatal respiratory symptoms in infected individuals. On March 10, 2020, Colorado Governor Jared Polis declared a State of Emergency as a result of the spread of COVID-19 within Colorado. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic.
Conducting regular and special meetings in a physical location increases the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for residents attending the meetings along with board members, District leaders and personnel. This is contrary to the District’s purpose of protecting the health, safety and welfare of its citizens and personnel. t also has the potential of compromising the District’s ability to provide critical emergency services by placing key personnel at a greater risk of infection.
The Colorado Open Meetings Law expressly contemplates that the board may conduct its public meetings by electronic methods. C.R.S. § 24-6-402(1)(b)(“’Meeting’ means any kind of gathering, convened to discuss public business, in person, by telephone, electronically, or by other means of communication.”).
Residents will have the opportunity to attend and participate in the monthly board meetings remotely by utilizing a teleconferencing service, Zoom. Residents can connect by calling the conference number and using the meeting ID listed in the board meeting agenda. The District will post the login information on the District’s website within each board meeting agenda.