As Leesburg city council again refuses to reconsider term, resignations begin
This was again already seen at the Leesburg city council meeting last week, as a majority of council withdrew from consideration a vote to repeal its previous action making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for children. full-time and part-time employees of the city, and most of its council and commission members.
City Councilor Suzanne Fox first asked for a vote on canceling Oct. 12 action at the November 9 board meeting. But then, as was the case last week, City Councilor Neil Steinberg moved a vote to adopt the agenda for the evening’s business meeting without the motion to cancel the action. Both times, the vote was passed 5-2, with Fox and Councilor Kari Nacy dissenting.
Supporters and opponents of the vaccine’s mandate again spoke out in the petitioners’ section of the November 23 council meeting, praising or berating council members for choosing not to vote on the resolution.
Nacy asked that the issue be added to the December 14 board agenda again for a vote. This meeting will perhaps be the last opportunity for the board to consider repealing the mandate on vaccines, barring a special meeting as yet unplanned. All city employees and members of council and commission who are required to comply with the mandate must have both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine by January 11, or termination. The council chose not to offer a test in lieu of vaccination option, similar to the policy adopted by the county supervisory board.
While the council has been warned by some of its own city employees that resignations are imminent, data provided by Public Information Officer Betsy Arnett indicates it may have already started, with more than one months to comply with the mandate.
From October 12, the night of the council’s term vote, to this week, 11 of the city’s 351 full-time employees tendered their resignations. However, Arnett said, none indicated that their resignations were caused by the tenure.
Of the city’s 391 part-time employees, three said their resignation was due to tenure. Twenty-eight part-time workers left their jobs in the city because their seasonal positions ended or they were going back to school, she said.
Five of the 77 members of the city’s advisory boards and commissions have resigned, but only one of those people cited the mandate as a reason. Under council policy, all members of the city’s advisory bodies, except the Zoning Appeal Board and the Planning Commission mandated by the state code, are required to comply with the mandate.