A special village council meeting will be held on Monday, May 18 at 11 a.m. to readdress the extension of the declared state of emergency in Forest Park.
In a regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, May 11, failure to second the discussion of extending the state of emergency caused the issue to be dropped. No vote was taken.
But Commissioner Joe Byrnes, who had been having technical difficulties during the remote meeting, said he never heard the call for a second. Commissioner Jessica Voogd had originally brought the issue to the table. Commissioners Dan Novak and Ryan Nero were silent.
On Friday, after announcing the special meeting, Hoskins said in an interview that he spoke to Byrnes at length. “Joe [Byrnes] didn’t hear the motion,” said Hoskins. “I’m asking the commissioners to consider and to discuss having the emergency declaration in place again.”
According to the ordinance to be discussed on Monday “the village failed to take action to extend the declared state of emergency” but considers it “necessary and in the interest of the people of the village, in accordance with the village’s responsibility to ensure public health and safety.”
The declared state of emergency would also extend the mayor’s executive powers until the next meeting on May 26. It would “re-establish and consent to the declaration that an emergency exists within and a disaster exists in the village and renew and continue the emergency powers of the mayor.”
Hoskins added in a phone interview that he thinks the crisis will continue for some time and having the declaration in place is important both symbolically and practically.
“I do not think we’re out of the woods with COVID-19 yet,” he said.
Since Monday night, when Cook County reported that the village had 82 cases of COVID-19, the number has jumped to 100 in just five days (as of noon on May 16). Whether this is due to more widespread testing of more actual cases is unclear.
The special meeting will be held via ZOOM on Monday, May 18 at 11 a.m. To join, click the following link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87509193659?pwd=N09MNmxpcnQvaXduRmFYQk9FQmZXUT09 (Password: 775354)