The Rhinelander Common Council held its first meeting in the new era of COVID-19 and the public attended via livestream from WJFW TV for most of the planned open session.
The council room had a maximum of 10 people in all, including the mayor, city attorney, clerk, and council members sitting six feet apart. Others were out in the hall.
Council member Lee Emmer asked City Attorney Steve Sorenson whether this type of meeting was legal. Sorenson thought it was as the agenda had been posted in public and the public allowed to give input....
"That's the only way we can meet the open meeting requirement. It's visible to the public. It's not restrictive in the sense that we didn't restrict any comments or comments that could be made before the meeting. Does that answer your question? "
Sorenson said the League of Wisconsin Municipalities is working on a method to allow for public input and viewing as the coronavirus situation continues in Wisconsin. The livesteam ended at 3:30 p.m. before the council went into closed session to discuss, among other topics, the job status of City Administrator Daniel Guild, who is on administrative leave after being charged with misconduct in public office.
With the livestream ended, Mayor Chris Frederickson ended the meeting at 3:40 p.m.