In compliance with public health guidelines to limit gatherings to less than 10 people, Missouri City City Council held its March 30 special meeting virtually. Council Member Jeffrey Boney, who announced March 28 on Facebook that he wad been hospitalized after testing positive for the coronavirus, was not in attendance.

Here are four key takeaways from the meeting.

1. Missouri City received a clean financial audit

Shelby Lackey, an assurance specialist with Weaver & Tidwell, Missouri City’s new auditing firm, presented the required Comprehensive Annual Financial Report to council.

Lackey said the city’s audit was unmodified, or clean, meaning that with the highest level of assurance, the auditors found financial statements were free of material misstatement.

The audit was of fiscal year 2018-19, which ran through Sept. 30, 2019.

“We have issued an unmodified opinion, or a clean opinion, which is what you would like to hear,” Lackey said to council. “And we did issue an audit, which is the highest level of assurance that can be given on financial statements.”

2. Council to review proposals from executive search firms ahead of search for permanent city manager

Council members decided they would try to review the proposals from nine executive search firms looking to partner with the city by April 6.

Council will evaluate the proposals based on a matrix provided by the Missouri City human resources staff. HR Director Martin Russell said once council reviews the proposals, they may opt to have the top three firms present their plans before selecting which one the city will contract with.

The chosen executive search firm will help the city recruit and vet candidates to become the next permanent city manager. A majority of City Council voted to fire Anthony Snipes from that role Feb. 24, and Assistant City Manager Bill Atkinson was appointed interim city manager March 2.

3. Council considered postponing May 2 election until Nov. 3

All members of council present at the meeting said they would like to postpone the scheduled May 2 special election until Nov. 3.

In May, Missouri City voters were to consider adopting the firefighters’ and police officers’ civil service law. The item, which required petitioners to collect signatures in order for it to appear on the ballot, will still appear on the Nov. 3 election ballot, according to city officials.

Council will vote on an official ordinance to finalize postponing the election at the next regular City Council meeting.

4. Begin planning for the 2021 Fiscal Year

Financial Services Director Allena Portis presented council with several proposed dates spanning from April to August to meet and discuss the FY 2020-21 budget calendar.

However, because of the coronavirus’s impact on sales tax and economic forecasting, members of council and city staff recognized that the presented dates may change and that planning the next city budget may be trickier than expected.