Clarkston City Council returns to virtual meetings as Omicron cases rise

Clarkston City Hall. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Clarkston, GA — The Clarkston City Council on Jan. 4 declared that a state of emergency exists, requiring them to meet virtually in a special called meeting preceding their work session.

This step is required by the Georgia Open Meetings Act, which ordinarily requires that official meetings be held in person except under emergency circumstances. Other local governments including Avondale Estates have also returned to virtual meetings as the Omicron variant has created a sharp spike in Georgia cases over the last month.

“Numbers have been on the rise, not only in Clarkston and in the state of Georgia, but globally,” said Mayor Beverly Burks. City Council meetings will be conducted via Zoom until further notice. Members of the public who cannot use Zoom can attend via telephone.

The council also agreed to allocate $20,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funds for the purchase of rapid COVID home tests, to be distributed to Clarkston residents. Additional funds may be allocated to make sure that every household receives a kit.

Jamie Carroll, Susan Hood and YT Bell were sworn in for their new terms as council members by Judge David Will. Beverly Burks was also sworn in for her returning term as mayor.

Awet Eyasu was nominated for another term as Vice Mayor. A vote to confirm the position will be held at the next council meeting.

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