PHOENIX - Days after Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego announced a state of emergency in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, members of the Phoenix City Council approved a substitute motion to declare a local emergency instead.
The vote on Friday was held following a vote to continue the discussion on Wednesday. A vote to confirm the emergency declaration is reportedly required under City Code.
Mayor Gallego declared a state of emergency on March 17, which orders the immediate closure of bars and ordering restaurants to move to a delivery/takeout/drive-thru model, starting at 8:00 p.m. that same day.
FOX 10's Brian Webb covered the vote on Friday, and said all council members agreed publicly that this is a crisis, following an executive session that lasted three hours.
According to the City of Phoenix's website, a substitute motion was made by Vice Mayor Betty Guardado, which was seconded by Councilmember Michael Nowakowski, to declare a local emergency and preserve the right for the mayor to declare a great emergency in the future, should circumstances warrant it. The substitute motion was approved.
DiCiccio once voiced opposition
Mayor Gallego's decision to declare an emergency was met with opposition from Phoenix City Councilmember Sal DiCiccio prior to Friday.
On his Twitter page on March 17, DiCiccio publicly declared his opposition, claiming that with a declaration of a "great emergency" instead of a "local emergency", Gallego will have "unlimited power to rule the City of Phoenix by proclamation for however so long she chooses," with the council having no recourse to rescind or question her actions.
"This is nothing short of martial law, and there is absolutely no way I can or ever will support such a measure," DiCiccio tweeted.
DiCiccio, however, did say he supports "reasonable precautions for businesses and individuals during this crisis."
DiCiccio represents District 6 in Phoenix City Council, which covers Ahwatukee and a portion of Phoenix near Paradise Valley.
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