FCCMA 2020 Fall Symposium

Ethical Decision-Making in the Face of COVID-19

November 5, 2020, 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., EDT

Virtual Format

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This year’s 2020 FCCMA Fall Symposium will take on a different format maximizing the use of technology.   We are merging our annual ethics training with the symposium format to do a deep dive into the ethical decision making needed during an emergency like what we have experienced with COVID-19.  Symposium participants will join us for three interactive presentations with breakout sessions to explore the topics thoroughly.  Sessions include:

Session 1: Regionalism in a Pandemic

This session will explore the nuances of city and county cooperation during an emergency and how we best serve the interests of the people in our care.  We will also explore conversations around how to best coordinate and remain aware of our regional neighbors and the policies they are following that may affect our communities. We will discuss the roles and responsibilities, how to best coordinate with our neighboring jurisdictions, assist elected officials to make the best policy choices possible, and administer resources like PPE and CARES Act funding.  (ICMA Tenet 4, 6, 10)

Session 2: Communicating with the Public and Employees

Communication demands are heightened during an emergency.  From an ethical perspective it is our job to keep the community informed and encourage communication between citizens and their local government.  During session 2 we will explore questions like what is the proper balance of communication with the public in very fluid situations?  How do we operate in new mediums for public forums?  How about communicating with staff in a manner that doesn’t induce stress and maintains motivation?  (ICMA Tenets 4, 9)

Session 3: Managing a Remote Work Force in a Pandemic

New cultures have arisen among our workforce as we face the COVID 19 crisis with many organizations moving to remote working.  Building upon session 2, this session will focus on the nuances of managing a remote workforce while ensuring our employees remain committed and trusted public servants.  How do we ensure public employees have the tools to do their jobs well as well as providing the proper levels of supervision in a remote environment? Equally important is how we deal with equity issues that arise among those employees who can work remotely as opposed to those who can’t, like field workers.  This prolonged environment can also have both positive and negative effects on recruitment and space needs.  We are also responsible to deal with the stress that is created when employees return to work in uncertain situations.  (ICMA Tenets 2, 8, 11)