Town meetings to remain virtual at least until Dec. 27

Gov. Bill Lee has extended his executive order, allowing governmental meetings to remain virtual until Dec. 27, and Farragut Mayor Ron Williams confirmed Town meetings will continue virtually under the order.

Lee’s Executive Order No. 65 was announced last week, replacing Order No. 60, which had expired Oct. 27.

Williams has mentioned numerous times the Board of Mayor and Aldermen place a very high value on it’s “great staff and volunteer committee members, as well as all our Farragut residents. We all are thankful that Gov. Lee has extended his Executive Order for virtual meetings for everyone’s safety.”

The executive order acknowledges that “COVID-19 remains a threat to our citizens and it is imperative to ensure that gatherings are conducted in a transparent and safe way, particularly for those at increased risk … .“

Among the order’s stipulations: all meetings are required to be offered via real-time live audio or video time frame; that videos should be made available to the public within two business days after the meeting; information about accessibility must be provided; and advises it does not “In any way limit quorum, meeting notice or voting requirements under current law.”

Farragut’s governmental meetings have been virtual since late March. While Knox County government has opened its County Commission meetings to the public, it has been noted its meeting space is much larger than Farragut’s. Several Town committee meetings have begun meeting in person, either in Town Hall or in the community center due to their small sizes.

Town meetings are broadcast live on Charter Channel 193 and TDS channel 3, and in recent weeks the broadcasts for both Board of Mayor and Aldermen and the Farragut Municipal Planning Commission also have been run live on the Town’s YouTube channel.