The Bellaire City Council has voted to extend a state of disaster declaration because of a public health emergency, as well as postpone a special election originally slated for May 2.
The council voted unanimously to extend the declaration by resolution just days after the Mayor Andrew Friedberg signed the document on March 20, allowing the city to respond more rapidly to developing issues and requirements from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention in combating COVID-19. Such an extension means the declaration will now last until terminated by order of the council or executive order of the mayor.
Because all city buildings are closed to the public, all city-sponsored events are canceled until further notice, and all public city meetings are being conducted by teleconference or cancelled, the council voted on the two items during a telephonic meeting.
The council also voted unanimously on an ordinance to postpone a special election originally scheduled for May 2, to November, placed there by three separate resident-approved propositions that would amend the city’s charter. The three propositions, signed by five percent of those that voted during the November 2017 election, all focus on sidewalk construction and the notification process by the city to residents that would be affected by such construction.
Council member Catherine Lewis requested an amendment to the ordinance that would have placed a moratorium on any further residential sidewalk construction until November, but a 4-3 vote shot the amendment down, with council members Neil Verma, mayor pro tem Gus E. Pappas, Friedberg, and council member Michael Fife voting against the amendment. Lewis, and council members Nathan Wesely and Jim Hotze voted for the amendment.
Bellaire extends disaster declaration, pushes back special election
City of Bellaire has extended a disaster declaration because of a public health emergency, and postponed its special election. (Alex Hosey/Community Impact Newspaper)