By Tom Henderson • Staff Writer • 

Mac council discussing emergency measures

[Updated 3/20/20]

Mayor Scott Hill signed a declaration of emergency for McMinnville that now goes before city councilors for ratification at their March 24 meeting.

Last week’s declaration does not impose any increased restrictions on local residents or government offices, but City Manager Jeff Towery said it potentially gives the city greater access to county, state and federal emergency funds.

The declaration states that the city “has expended or soon will expend its necessary and available resources.”

Towery said the council’s approval of the declaration gives him “the latitude to coordinate an effective response by redirecting funding for emergency use as needed and suspending standard procurement protocol.”

Council member Sal Peralta also plans to use Tuesday’s meeting to urge his fellow councilors to follow Portland and Multnomah County authorities’ lead in declaring a moratorium on evictions.

He advocates similar action by Yamhill County commissioners and Newberg city officials.

“I realize the economic strain that this will put on landlords,” Peralta said. “However, the social-distancing policies and caseload of allowing evictions to proceed would put a significant strain on a court system that is trying to pare down to the most essential cases and would place essential sheriff’s office staff at risk.”

He also said he doesn’t want deputies to fall ill “for the most inhumane of purposes — turning people out on the street during a global pandemic.”

It promises to be an unusual McMinnville City Council March 24 with only a handful of people physically present in the council chambers.

“As the city continues to practice social distancing and limiting the amount of people present, we will be video-conferencing some of our council members and staff,” City Recorder Claudia Cisneros said. “The public is also encouraged to virtually attend the meeting if possible.”

The council meeting will be livestreamed on McMinnville Community Media’s website at It will be available for viewing the following day on YouTube.

People can also join the meeting online through Zoom video-conferencing technology at They need to use the Zoom ID number 342-054-084 and the Zoom password 910191.

Alternatively, call and listen via Zoom at 253- 215- 8782 (ID: 342-054-084).


[Original online story 3/16/20]

McMinnville has declared a state of emergency in an effort to expedite its response to the coronavirus.

Mayor Scott Hill issued the declaration Monday afternoon. It runs through May 1, but may be renewed if necessary.

The declaration gives the city manager latitude to redirect funding for emergency use and to suspend standard procurement procedures for supplies and equipment. It also will help the city if it requests assistance or reimbursement for expenditures, the document says, and it will help McMinnville coordinate with the county and other agencies.

The city also can modify work schedules of first responders to deal with staffing shortages or increased need.




Once this Pandemic is safely behind us, and it will be safely behind us some day, the public is going to have to spend a few bucks supporting local business that have been hit hard. It may be tough on the budget but if we don't...well let's not go there. Put a few dollars aside to be able to go out for a meal, buy a coffee, do something local ! In general put some money back in to "our" economy. We'll get through make sure others get through this.


wericwatt - I would suggest that after this is over people suspend buying from Amazon. We will need to support local businesses more than ever. Even if that means spending a few pennies more.

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