From April 2-6, MORPC conducted a survey of local governments to understand the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on operations. The results of this survey are presented below.
We will be repeating the survey on a recurring basis to track the changing impacts of COVID-19 and social distancing throughout the duration of the stay-at-home order and social distancing measures.
During the short time frame of the survey, we received 74 responses comprising cities, townships, villages, and counties of various size — mostly cities and townships.
Fortunately, to date, only 10 percent of survey respondents have had layoffs or furloughs at their organization. However, over 70 percent are either anticipating layoffs or furloughs or are unsure about the need for these measures in the future.
Seventy percent of respondents reported that more than half of their employees must work outside of their homes in order to perform their key functions. For essential employees – like safety forces, refuse collection, and maintenance crews – who must continue to work anyway, workplace health and safety is of utmost importance. For nonessential employees, this raises concerns for potential layoffs or furloughs.
While physical distancing measures have forced many changes to day-to-day life and how we carry out the functions of government, some consistent changes and concerns rose to the top.
The top three operational changes were: all facilities closed to public, some staff allowed; conducting remote public meetings; and all transactions restricted to remote options.
The top three concerns were: staff contracting COVID-19; reduction in revenues; and broader community impacts.
On a positive note, the vast majority of local governments are prepared to conduct remote public meetings. For the 12 percent that do not feel prepared, MORPC has staff and resources available to help, please contact us if you are in need of assistance.