By Mike Kruzman /

With a second consecutive forced adjournment for being over allowed capacity, Genoa Township’s Supervisor is considering options that will allow officials to conduct business.

Earlier this month, residents opposed to a proposed project by Catholic Healthcare International showed up in numbers large enough to force the Board of Trustees to adjourn due to MDHHS capacity orders. In an effort to aid business getting done in situations like this going forward, the Board put on its agenda for yesterday’s meeting discussion about declaring a local state of emergency to allow for online meetings. Even though the CHI matter was not on that agenda, too many residents again showed up, forcing the Board to adjourn its second consecutive meeting. Supervisor Bill Rogers said they can fit 21 people in their Board Room, but 38 came to attend.

Rogers was frustrated following the meeting, saying this was actually hurting taxpayers in Genoa Township because there is other business before the Board that is being prevented from being conducted aside from CHI’s. When asked what he could do to get a meeting called so they can vote on the declaration, he said his understanding is that, as Supervisor, he can declare a 7-day emergency. That would give them a window to hold a meeting with the goal of at least approving the ability to hold future meetings over Zoom. Rogers pointed out that the word “emergency” is just the state’s terminology and hence one they must use in this declaration if they want to be able to legally hold a meeting.

Rogers told WHMI that this potentially forthcoming declaration is “simply a tool.” He continued, saying, “I admit it, I don’t like masks and I don’t like not being able to do meetings in person. I’m not a fan of Zoom. But if that’s all we have… predicated on the safety and welfare of everybody, that’s what we’re trying to do...and so that’s why I may have to (make the declaration.)

Rogers said he has to wait until a scheduled meeting is in the 7-day window to make the declaration, else it wouldn’t be effective. He said, “If I declare it (Tuesday) and we don’t have a meeting for 2 weeks, it wastes it. With their next meeting on May 3rd, Rogers’ window for making the declaration would open next week.

The Supervisor said they are still working on finding a location that can hold a large number of people legally for live meetings and that they are not trying to circumvent conducting business in-person. However, due to rising COVID numbers, Rogers said some of the places they have been considering have gone into a soft lockdown for safety-sake.