closed door

At Peoria City Council’s first closed-to-the-public meeting, Peoria Fire Chief Bobby Ruiz said his paramedics in the last few weeks transported two COVID-19 patients and that the process went smoothly.

“We will respond to whatever your needs are,” Ruiz said.

He was speaking to residents watching from their homes, as no members of the public were permitted into the meeting.

“Out of an abundance of caution and in conjunction with recommendations issued by the Arizona Department of Health Services for compliance with the Center for Disease Control Guidelines to implement social distancing in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Peoria City Council Chamber will be closed to the public and the city council will conduct this meeting remotely,” Peoria Mayor Cathy Carlat said, echoing an announcement a week before the meeting.

While Carlat and some city staff members were present, city council members participated via phone.

No public members were in the chamber.

Residents can watch council meetings live at facebook.com/CityofPeoriaAz, Youtube DigitalPeoria, Cox Channel 11 or CenturyLink Channel 8509. 

Residents with comments or questions may submit them via Facebook, or email to cityclerk2@peoriaaz.gov. 

Individuals attending the meeting in person—sitting in a separate room—may submit comments on a speaker request form provided outside the City Council Chamber.

There were no public comments submitted for the March 24 meeting.

Jeff Tyne, Peoria’s city manager, said the city “is well prepared to continue with whatever confronts us” with the COVID-19 health event.

“We are open for business. We will always be open business, no matter what comes our way,” said Ruiz.

 He stressed Peoria’s Fire-Medical Department’s “automatic aid” agreement, which connects to more than 300 paramedic units.

“We will respond to whatever your needs are,” Ruiz said, addressing the public.

He said paramedics check each other’s vital signs. “We have provided them with PPE’s—we have about three or four months supply, and we just ordered some more.”

He said 911 dispatchers prescreen callers to “see if they have the COVID-19 to get us prepared before we get there. So we can minimize the exposure. The pre-screening has worked very well. Our paramedics have picked up two individuals in Peoria with COVID-19.”

A city council meeting was scheduled for April 7. It was also to be closed to the public.

There were only two voting items on the April 7 agenda. The first was designating the city’s chief financial officer as the applicant agent for the Arizona Division of Emergency Management.

The other voting item was a proposed reimbursement to Toll Brothers of $243,000 for the construction of Liberty Neighborhood Park in the Meadows at Camino A Lago subdivision at 97th Avenue and Williams Road.