A message from City Manager, Greg Butcher:
Members of Council,
I wanted to take an opportunity to provide you with the latest information relating to City of Pickerington operations in this dynamic and fluid period of uncertainty relating to COVID-19 and the Coronavirus. In conjunction with any decisions we make, Mayor Gray and I strongly believe we need to maintain our mission of providing fundamental local government services to those we represent and work for, yet provide the highest level of safety and security to our employees. This will require a balance of public policy and professional discretion of supervisors and other decision makers.
Human Resources has previously sent informational emails to employees on COVID-19 to provide education and awareness on this rapidly evolving respiratory illness. The City’s plans regarding COVID-19 prevention and education are outlined below.
- During the current public health crisis, it is important for us to remain aware of COVID-19 prevention efforts by implementing procedures as necessary. Human Resources will continue to provide updates and keep employees informed.
- Our goals throughout this health crisis are to:
- Protect employees and their families from infection or spread of COVID-19. We are providing disinfectant towelettes and gloves throughout all city offices and facilities (i.e. water and wastewater plants) and asking employees to wipe down their work stations and areas, police cruisers, offices, common areas and any other spaces where community can access.
- Maintain services as much as possible through any form of infectious outbreak
- Reduce or eliminate the infection or spreading of COVID-19 to our customers/citizens, with a focus on at-risk individuals. At-risk individuals, as defined by the CDC, are older adults (above 60 and even more focus for above 70), and those with current health conditions such as heart problems, diabetes, lung issues, etc.
- Coordinate action plans with Fairfield County and Violet Township to ensure consistency and maximize the totality of our collective resources.
- Reduced Services/Reduced Exposure. Should this be required, prompt communication with Council will occur to ensure you are informed.
In each of the below situations, proper notice to citizens is critical. The City will provide these notices through signs, city website, Facebook, Twitter, etc., and proper coordination of each status will be required through the City Manager’s office.
- The city may consider reducing hours for City Hall/Customer Service areas. Promotion and education for customers to use alternative measures will be through city website/Facebook/Twitter, etc. This may include citizens conducting business by mail, after hour bill payment drop-off, phone calls, etc. Consideration to closing the counter entirely will be given depending on the situation.
- The City may consider closing all City facilities to non-employees.
- Consideration to reduce and/or cancel official meetings: Boards, Commissions and possible City Council meetings will be provided based on the situation, facts and state directive(s).
- Managing the Workforce: All areas should prepare for possible increased numbers of employee absences due to illness in employees and/or their family members and dismissals of early childhood programs and K-12 schools due to high levels of absenteeism or illness.
- All Department Heads will report to Human Resources (via email) ASAP the absence of any/every employee due to COVID-19 isolation or quarantine.
- Human Resources will track the status and report on it at staff meetings.
- Department Heads/Supervisors are responsible for monitoring and implementing plans to continue their essential services/business functions. This includes cross-training, flex schedules, adjusted work hours and possible telecommuting to ensure services are maintained. Telecommuting must be approved in advance by the City Manager. Department Heads must notify the City Manager’s office on all service status updates and any needs to adjust based on absenteeism.
- Meeting with Fairfield County Task Force.
- The City Manager will be meeting with members of the Fairfield County Task Force. The purpose of meeting will be to discuss procedures, policies and protocol relating to the public, personnel, building operations, etc. We view communication with other local government agencies as being critical in periods of crisis. This ensures consistency with best practices and response as conditions evolve.
Future communication will occur as appropriate.