Mayor Eric Genrich's March Newsletter
Below is my report to Green Bay's Common Council from Tuesday's special meeting during which the City's State of Emergency Declaration was affirmed. You will also find information about and links to important community-based work in this difficult time. To put things succinctly, we must all become comfortable losing our attachment to normalcy, but we cannot lose our attachment to decency. If you need anything at all in the days ahead, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Director Faulds, Chief Litton, and Attorney Chavez will provide in-depth explanations of the issues we’re handling tonight, but I wanted to provide you and the community with an update on the actions I’ve taken or decisions I’ve supported in recent days:
Last week I announced my decision to cease any involvement in public events or travel and urged my fellow citizens to take similar actions, in light of the impending threat to our community.
This past weekend, the Emergency Operations Center was opened in concert with the county. It was opened at a level 4, where it remains for the time-being. Chief Litton will provide more details.
I consulted with Director Kiewiz on Sunday night and supported her fully in her decision, with Transit Commissioner consultation, to suspend general transit services.
At Chief Litton’s urging and with Attorney Chavez’s assistance, I declared a state of emergency in the city of Green Bay on Monday.
Also yesterday, I participated in a community update with our local health system leaders, County Executive Streckenbach, and Superintendent Michelle Langenfeld. We are united in the steps we believe we must take to protect our community, including limits on meeting size and strict social distancing protocols.
Today, operating with the authority of the state of emergency, I closed city hall for public business until further notice.
I have also been advocating, publicly and privately, for dramatic changes to the way in which our election will be administered in April. As it stands, I don’t believe we will be able to staff it appropriately, and I worry about the impact this could have on our democracy.
This gives you a sense for the work I’ve been engaged in the past few days. As you can tell, I take the COVID-19 threat very seriously, and I am urging you to do the same.
If you are skeptical, don’t listen to me. Listen to the national, state and local public health experts. The threat is real, and the time to act is yesterday.
Finally, I recognize and deeply regret the negative social and economic consequences of the public safety recommendations we are following, which is why I have called on state and federal officials to act immediately to provide essential support to the individuals, nonprofits, and businesses impacted.
I have also called on our community members to support one another during this time of need. As always, I thank you alders for your service, and I thank the community for the difficult work that’s been done and for the difficult work that lies ahead.