Gonzales holds first virtual City Council meeting

Scott J. Anderson

The first virtual Gonzales City Council meeting went off without a hitch last week, according to Chief Administrative Officer Scot Byrd.

"It went really smooth, amazingly enough," he said. "All that rehearsal we did ahead of time did the job for us. I was on a bond commission meeting after the council meeting, and it didn't go as smoothly."

An email address was established ahead of the meeting to collect public comment on the agenda. That email address was published both on the agenda and in the email distributing the agenda. But Byrd said there was no public comment during the meeting.

While the virtual meeting was regarded as a success, Byrd hopes it isn't a sign of things to come.

"I much prefer in-person meetings," he said. "I'm missing people. And I know the mayor is."

Byrd said the one city utility worker who had a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis has made a full recovery. Byrd said the man ran a fever for only one day.

Mayor Barney Arceneaux continues to run City Hall on split shifts to limit risks for city employees. Also, the building is closed to walk-up traffic. Residents can play utility bills at the drive-through service window. Those practices will continue at least through the end of April.

"As we get closer to that time, we will reevaluate it," Byrd said.

Byrd said he has noticed more traffic on the streets of Gonzales lately. He expressed his concern and encouraged residents to continue to abide by the Stay-at-Home order until it is rescinded.

"I know it's tough, because my wife and I are experiencing it too," he said. "But bear with it for a couple of more weeks. Because it's working."