Governor Doug Ducey seems to be treating the Mayors of Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Tucson like Donald Trump treats House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
They do not talk much, if at all, to each other.
That can be potentially problematic considering each city represents a vital urban center in a different region in the Grand Canyon State during a time of a public health emergency and civil unrest.
Speaking with AZ Central reporters Yvonne Wingett Sanchez and Ronald J. Hansen, the Mayors of Flagstaff (Coral Evans) and Tucson (Regina Romero) confirmed that they conversed with Mr. Ducey’s advisor on local government, Ben Blink during the early stages of the Coronavirus pandemic, but nothing since which is interesting considering the state has not yet reached the projected peak in COVID 19 cases. Actually, the last two days has seen a marked increase in Coronavirus cases in the state.
It looks like the Mayors warning against reopening the state too early maybe unfortunately prophetic.
Mayor Romero commented:
“It seems to me that if we want to speak as one voice, then everybody would have the opportunity to be part of the conversation. It makes no sense to me that the mayors that care so passionately about their communities never had a conversation with the governor the entire time this has been going on.”
In a separate email exchange between Annie DeGraw, the Communications Director for Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, and myself in reference to if the Governor contacted them before proclaiming the weeklong curfew on May 31, it was relayed by Ms. DeGraw that:
“We have not spoken to or heard from the governor on this or any other topic in a number of months. We found out about the curfew on Twitter.”
Mayor Romero found out about the curfew the same way.
Mayor Evans did talk to the Governor (apparently for the first time in a while according to additional reporting by AZ Central) that day but it is unclear if that was after the declaration.
What is clear, like Mayor Romero said, is that during a time of crisis all leaders should band together and hopefully forge a united consensus to get the people through the difficulties everyone is facing.
That should be triply apparent considering the state is going through health, economic, and civil crises at the same time.
The people can not afford to have their state and local leaders sitting in their designated party corners.
It is time for the Governor to pick up the phone.