Phoenix New Times
(Editor’s note: This article is a segment of a story about how people all over the Valley reacting to COVD-19.)
Most mayors in Arizona are considered part time. My profession is as a financial adviser, so with the market tanking as well, it’s a real double whammy for me, trying to do the best both by my clients and by my citizens.
Everybody has their opinion as to how much and how far we should go. I have people of the opinion that we should shelter in place. I have people that have opinions that this is a government conspiracy, that this thing isn’t real, or I’m a small business owner and I don’t want to go out of business. As a mayor, do I pick a side? It puts me right in the middle.
You have to remember that in an emergency, the mayor rules by proclamation. You’re suspending the rules and checks and balances that government has in place to be accountable to the people. That’s something I take very seriously. I wanted to hold off on declaring an emergency until these things went from suggestions to mandate.
Now that they’ve become mandates [with Governor Ducey’s executive orders on March 19], today [March 20] I will issue a state of emergency as well. In order to keep up with the mandates, we’ll need to declare a state of emergency. For us to move quickly, we can’t have any city rules that are getting in the way. Literally everything is changing from last night to today.
I’m not afraid of getting coronavirus, but at the same time I’m cautious. I follow CDC guidelines, I keep my distance, wash my hands.
The sun will come out tomorrow. This too shall pass. This won’t last forever. We will get to the other side. The question is, when we get to the other side, what will we look like? We will be in a new reality.
I see this from two sides. There’s gonna be a lot of folks that are hurt and they’re going to have to find their new life. But we in America have an entrepreneurial spirit, to find opportunities created by this new normal, and they’re going to use these new disruptive technologies to create a new America, and I think that’s exciting. There is hope.