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Winter Park City Commission - Special Meeting Minutes - August 3, 2021

City Commission Special Meeting

August 3, 2021


Mayor Phil Anderson

Commissioner Marty Sullivan

Commissioner Sheila DeCiccio

Commissioner Todd Weaver (virtual)

City Manager Randy Knight

City Clerk Rene Cranis

Also Present

City Labor Attorney Jeff Mandel, Fisher Phillips

Dr. Mitch Maulfair, Medical Director for Advent Health and City Medical Director

1. Call to Order Mayor Anderson called the meeting to order at 3:02 p.m.

2. Action Item for Discussion a. Discussion of COVID related topics. Mayor Anderson spoke on the city’s responsibility for safety of staff and residents. He said the meeting will open with presentation of COVID facts, motivation to get people vaccinated and determine a course of action.

Mr. Knight stated that the employee incentive, which was approved by the city’s labor attorney, gives $150 and a paid day off to vaccinated employees and employees that become fully vaccinated by September 15th.

Commissioner Sullivan gave a presentation on COVID cases, hospital admissions and impact on water quality and wastewater. He noted that some agencies have implemented mandatory employee vaccinations or proof of negative test results. He said, beyond incentives, the city may need to consider mandatory vaccinations to protect employees and their families.

Dr. Maulfair provided data on mortality rates, hospitalizations and percentage of vaccinated COVID patients. He said that there are some valid issues for not getting vaccinated such as underlying existing health conditions and some feeling that they have natural immunity.

Discussion followed on exemptions from being vaccinated, fears of the vaccine, the impact on the work force, and the financial impact on employers and health plans.

Commissioner DeCiccio said she feels misinformation has led to refusal to get vaccinated and said that clear and factual information needs to be on the city website.

Commissioner Weaver expressed concern about the impact on staffing which ultimately could affect water, sewer and fire and police services. He supported the incentive but questioned its effect in gaining full compliance and said one option may be to put employees on leave if they don't get vaccinated for the safety of co-workers.

Mr. Mandel spoke on OrangeCounty Mayor’s Executive Order on mandated vaccination for non-union employees as well as the Orange County Tax Collector and said he anticipates other municipalities will look at what other agencies are doing. He reviewed legal implications of mask and vaccination mandates and making vaccination a condition of employment and furloughs. He noted that requiring vaccinations as condition of employment could expose the city to potential liability if an employee has a reaction to the vaccination.

Mayor Anderson suggested directing staff to present a program at next meeting that would move ahead with model of requirements but tempered with timing and incentives.

In-depth discussion followed on promotion of free vaccination events, putting factual information and resources on the website, mandatory testing in lieu of vaccination and logistics of employee temperature checks.

Discussion returned to testing and responsibility for cost. Mr. Mandel stated that the question of whether employers must pay employees for their time to get tested has yet to be answered.

Motion made by Mayor Anderson to direct staff to develop a periodic testing program for unvaccinated employees to be presented at the August 11th meeting for consideration and adoption, that staff immediately implement a public relations program disseminating COVID information and the city would consider moving to mandatory vaccinations depending a review of the situation at a later date; seconded by Commissioner Sullivan.

There were no public comments.

Commissioner DeCiccio suggested that vaccinated people have the option to get tested. Mayor Anderson and Commissioner Sullivan accepted this as part of the motion.

Upon a voice vote, the motion carried unanimously with a 4-0 vote. Commissioner Cooper was absent.

The meeting adjourned at 4:36 p.m.

Posted to on November 17, 2021.

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