Council OKs county’s Blueprint to Reopen
By Kendra Lamer
WEST BEND — During Monday night’s Common Council meeting, members voted to approve a resolution to adopt the Washington Ozaukee County Public Health Department Blueprint for Reopening Washington and Ozaukee counties.
Seven of the eight council members voted to approve the bill with District 2 Alderman Mark Allen voting no.
After the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned the “Safer at Home” order on May 13, there were no regulations relating to controlling the spread of COVID-19 in West Bend and the rest of Washington County. Local governments took it upon themselves to adopt policies regarding the disease.
The Common Council created a resolution stating that the city will follow guidance from the Washington Ozaukee County Public Health Department. This includes the Blueprint to Reopen and FAQ relating to the blueprint. The resolution encompasses future amendments and guidance to reopening services and activities.
In addition, the city will acquire all guidance from the health department in reviewing all permit and license applications, including special event permits, block closing, parade permits and temporary Class B beer license applications.
The Blueprint to Reopen lists recommendations and guidance for a variety of industries that would allow them to open, but may limit the number of people in a space, encourage those in an area to maintain social distance and disinfect surfaces.
On May 14, one day after the “Safer at Home” order was overturned, West Bend officials announced they would adopt the health department’s blueprint.
The city also announced the reopening of the West Bend Community Memorial Library on May 20, ending curbside pickup services the previous day. The Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department will begin facility rentals in June, open park bathrooms and expand in-person programs in July.
See REOPEN, PAGE 6A
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The city clerk still encourages residents to vote absentee in the Partisan Primary election on Aug. 11.
“It’s important from that aspect to have the guidance that the city shall follow these guidelines as an organization,” said City Attorney Ian Prust.
The blueprint also allowed council members to meet in person at Monday night’s meeting. They maintained social distancing.
Allen was the sole member of the council to wear a face mask and gloves under interpretation of the guidelines.
“If this is the guidelines we’re going to use, where is the face masks for all the conversations that happen within an arms’ length?” said Allen.
He asked why the council moved from a virtual meeting to an in-person meeting before the blueprint was officially adopted. He said the blueprint asks people to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, but not everyone reads the CDC guidelines.
Mayor Christophe Jenkins and City Administrator Jay Shambeau said since board members could socially distance, they were not required to wear masks.
“The majority of the time they (CDC) talk about a face mask, they talk about when you cannot publicly distance,” said Police Chief Kenneth Meuler.
He explained those at work do not need to wear a mask in the office by themselves, but those dealing with the public should wear one.