Editor's note: The following is the unedited text of a press release issued by Mayor Solomon's office Monday morning.
Mayor Joseph. J. Solomon announced that he has unlocked the doors of Warwick City Hall to ensure that City offices are as accessible as possible for any person declaring candidacy for elected office.
“My top priority throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been ensuring the safety of the public and my staff, but I also want to make Warwick City Hall as accessible as possible for candidates to file their paperwork to run for office,” said Mayor Joseph J. Solomon. “The ability to hold free and fair elections is one of the principles upon which our nation was founded, and it is important that anyone wishing to run for office be able to do so with as few barriers as possible.”
Candidates may file their declaration of candidacy forms on June 22, 23, and 24; the deadline to file is June 24 at 4:00 p.m. Although all City departments have remained fully operational throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, physical access to City buildings has been by appointment only to limit the spread of the virus. However, with the deadline for candidates to file and the onset of Phase 3 of reopening, Mayor Solomon is updating protocols for City buildings and staffing.
Candidates are encouraged to follow social distancing measures and to wear cloth face coverings when coming to City Hall.
Mayor Solomon also announced that with Phase 3 of reopening, both Warwick City Hall and the Buttonwoods Municipal Annex will be fully accessible to the public. All reopenings are structured around ongoing social distancing, adhering to mask wearing and other public health directives to ensure safety.
Mayor Solomon has implemented numerous safety protocols to minimize risk for staff and the public, including:
* New plexiglass safety shields separate all public counters; these were implemented by Mayor Solomon to provide staff and the public with an added layer of protection.
* Employees and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. All visitors are advised to wear masks or face coverings at all times. Employees must wear masks or face coverings at all times unless they are working alone in an office.
* Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting measures are taking place in all offices to ensure a sanitized, germ-free environment for staff and the public.
All City operations are subject to change and are dependent upon data and guidance from RIDOH.