With the COVID 19 pandemic affecting so many parts of Missoula, city government is working together to create policies that work during the crisis.

Ward Four City Councilor Jesse Ramos was on Tuesday’s Talk Back show to say that he and Mayor John Engen came to agreements of several policies that are in effect due to the pandemic.

“The mayor called me on Friday and we worked through it,” said Ramos. “This did not make the press, but he actually added some sideboards in there at my request. He didn’t want to have so many committee meetings, and the contracts that he was going to be signing have already been approved by the city council in the budget.”

Ramos said the problem legally was the possible lack of a quorum to make official city policy.

“It’s still another political step that he has to get it approved by city council, but he didn’t want to do that during committee meetings, so the mayor and I came up with this idea. The city council can’t have meetings over the phone, because according to state law you have to have a quorum to conduct city business, and a quorum by law means that all the city council members need to be in the same physical location.”

Ramos described the work-around that he and Mayor Engen crafted to get around the problem.

“What we came up with was a little sideboard that states all the contracts will be posted on the city council’s agenda on Monday under ‘miscellaneous’,” the public and the city council all have the ability to look at those, but if any one councilor wants to, they can remove those and then but it before the city council for as vote, so we still our same power, it’s just in a different form.”

The Missoula City Council is also doing all it can to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

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