Parsons city commissioners will consider a resolution on Monday to clarify what city employees are considered essential workers.

City Manager Debbie Lamb said during a Thursday work session that the resolution would allow certain workers to go through a modified quarantine after coming into contact with someone who has contracted the coronavirus. The employees could still go to work instead of having to quarantine at home. They would have to maintain social distance at work as much as possible and wear a mask at all times. They also would be allowed to go only to work and back home.

Lamb said for example that police officers and firefighters would be allowed to work under a modified quarantine, and water department employees could go fix main breaks. She said on Thursday that the city has been notified that police officers and firefighters can receive COVID-19 vaccinations now. Lamb hadn’t heard if water and wastewater treatment plant workers could be vaccinated yet.

Lamb said the employees listed in the resolution already were considered essential workers by Gov. Laura Kelly’s stay-home orders issued in April. The resolution is just a “housekeeping” detail, she said.

Those declared essential in the resolution consist of Lamb and employees in the police, fire, wastewater, water, public works and sanitation departments. During a time of crisis or emergency, the city manager would have authority to determine other workers are essential on an as-needed basis. The city manager also could determine that the employees listed as essential in the resolution may not be essential based on the circumstances of each emergency.

In another matter on Monday, the commission will elect a mayor and president of the board to serve for 2021. Barring any surprises, the commission will elect Tom Shaw as mayor and Leland Crooks as president of the board, setting up Crooks to become mayor in 2022. The commission traditionally follows a set rotation for the two roles, with commissioners serving four-year terms eventually serving as president followed by a stint as mayor.

The commissioners will meet at 6 p.m. Monday in the commission room at the Parsons Municipal Building. The meeting will be livestreamed at livestream.com/parsonskansas.

Besides the election and the resolution, the only other item on the commission’s unusually light agenda for Monday will be approval of minutes for December meeting.

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