Alpharetta City Council adopts emergency ordinance; city facilities closed through April 12

Alpharetta City Council members passed an emergency ordinance March 16 to allow meetings, including binding votes, to be conducted via email during the closure of all city facilities from March 15 to April 12. (Kara McIntyre/Community Impact Newspaper)
Alpharetta City Council members passed an emergency ordinance March 16 to allow meetings, including binding votes, to be conducted via email during the closure of all city facilities from March 15 to April 12. (Kara McIntyre/Community Impact Newspaper)

Alpharetta City Council members passed an emergency ordinance March 16 to allow meetings, including binding votes, to be conducted via email during the closure of all city facilities from March 15 to April 12. (Kara McIntyre/Community Impact Newspaper)

Alpharetta City Council members and Mayor Jim Gilvin called an emergency City Council meeting at 10 a.m. March 16, where the mayor and council members unanimously passed an emergency ordinance that puts temporary measures in place to allow council members to conduct meetings—including binding votes—via email. Minutes must be posted online within three days of the virtual vote or meeting as required by state law.

"It gives us the flexibility that the private sector has to make decisions more quickly and enable us to provide services without requiring people to put their health at risk by coming to or gathering in our facilities," Gilvin said during the meeting.

The ordinance lasts 30 days and can be extended for an additional 30 days or repealed by a majority City Council vote. All essential services, including but not limited to those related to public safety and health, can continue during the coronavirus pandemic, the ordinance reads.

On March 15, city officials also announced the closure of all city facilities, the cancellation of all city-related board and committee meetings, and the cancellation of all public special events organized or sponsored by the city of Alpharetta from March 15 to April 15. All indoor and outdoor rentals of city facilities are also canceled during this period.


"This is an extraordinary time in our history. As the elected representatives of the people of Alpharetta, it is this council’s duty to make sure we can continue to conduct the business of the city of Alpharetta for the people of this community," Gilvin said during the meeting. "That is why we are enacting this ordinance today: to ensure we have the ability to continue to serve and protect our citizens and our employees for the next 30 days in the face of the unusual circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic."


According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, the state has seen 121 total confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus disease
, or COVID-19, 27 of which have occurred in Fulton County—the highest number of cases in any Georgia county.
By Kara McIntyre
Kara started with Community Impact Newspaper as the summer intern for the south Houston office in June 2018 after graduating with a bachelor's degree in mass communication from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. She became the reporter for north Houston's Tomball/Magnolia edition in September 2018, moving to Alpharetta in January 2020 after a promotion to be the editor of the Alpharetta/Milton edition, which is Community Impact's first market in Georgia.