Shouldn’t the Phoenix City Council have decided whether to mandate COVID-19 vaccines?

City Manager Jeff Barton / City of Phoenix

Opinion: Why didn’t the Phoenix mayor and council decide whether to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for city employees? They should at least tell residents how they feel about it.

By Elvia Díaz | Arizona Republic

All Phoenix municipal employees, including police officers and firefighters, must received a COVID-19 vaccine by Jan. 18, 2022.

Why is Phoenix City Manager Jeff Barton the one making the decision to require all 14,000 municipal employees to get the COVID-19 jab or else?

A city spokesperson told The Arizona Republic a decision to comply with President Joe Biden’s executive order is under Barton’s discretion because he manages employees.

That might be technically and legally correct. But give me a break.

Phoenix residents didn’t elect Barton. They elected Mayor Kate Gallego and the other eight council members who make up the Phoenix City Council. They picked Barton, who answers directly to them.

It’s hard to believe Barton made that decision entirely on his own without Gallego’s and the council’s blessing.

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