HUDSON — A trio of city council members will be visiting with business owners to find out what they need as they confront the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Council President Bill Wooldredge (At Large) said he was concerned about the coronavirus outbreak’s impact on city businesses.

"They are being really hurt," stated Wooldredge during council’s first virtual meeting Tuesday night.

Wooldredge announced that he was appointing council members Beth Bigham (Ward 4), Chris Foster (Ward 2) and Kate Schlademan (Ward 1) to serve on the Hudson Coronavirus Response Task Force subcommittee. The body will be in place for 90 days, but Wooldredge said that time frame could be extended.

Wooldredge asked the three council members to engage in dialogues with the city administration and the business community.

"We need to find out what their specific needs are and how we can help them," said Wooldredge.

He asked the task force to return to council with their recommended actions and associated costs on April 7.

Council member Hal DeSaussure (At Large) said he thought the formation of the task force was a "great idea," and added, "I applaud everybody that’s going to be on that committee."

No votes taken during virtual meeting

On Tuesday, council decided it would not vote on any legislation because it was unclear whether they were allowed to do a virtual vote.

City spokesperson Jody Roberts said the administration had received "differing opinions" on whether council was allowed to cast virtual votes (as opposed to in-person votes). The Ohio Senate and House on Wednesday approved Amended Substitute House Bill 197, which contains a provision allowing local and county government bodies, as well as state boards and commissions "to operate meetings electronically so long as the public is aware and can participate electronically," according to a summary of the bill.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the legislation was headed to Gov. DeWine’s desk for his signature.

Council will have another virtual meeting on March 31 at 7:30 p.m.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421,, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.