“Last week I wrote to Governor Ducey, encouraging him to return local decision-making authority to local governing bodies so we can chart our own course through the coronavirus pandemic. He has chosen to ignore that letter. The Ducey administration has also ignored science and instead has focused on the short term economic gain found in easing Stay at Home restrictions.
I believe our responsibility is first to preserve the health of our community, being ever-mindful of allowing for safe commerce that provides essential goods and services, supports employment and recognizes the unique circumstances COVID-19 has placed us in.
Our City Charter gives the City Council the authority to act as follows: (Chapter VII; Section 28) “Disease prevention. To make all regulations which may be necessary or expedient for the preservation of the health and the suppression of disease; to make regulations to prevent the introduction of contagious, infectious, or other diseases into the City“
Under that Charter authority, I am proposing to my colleagues on the City Council that we adopt a local ordinance that reimposes the restrictions found under the Mayor’s initial Stay at Home Proclamation, and that requires face coverings be worn in public spaces where distancing is not possible. If the Governor wishes to challenge our Charter authority, he of course has legal avenues available. While those play themselves out, the Mayor and City Council will have provided for the health of our community as we are empowered to do under the Tucson City Charter.”
I say, “about time” that we tested Ducey’s imperious and anti-scientific pre-emption of local control of health and safety police powers.
If Ducey wants to go to court to enforce his will, let him accept the political cost for trying to impose his will on local communities who are just trying to protect their citizens’ health and lives.
Ducey’s not acting in our interests, he’s acting in Trump’s political interest. He’s not shaping public policy to best available scientific facts, but on a misguided culture war that is literally resulting in casualties.
BlogForArizona strongly encourages the Tucson City Council to proceed.