/Mayors scramble to know Does Gov Reeves’ coronavirus declaration clash with local orders

Mayors scramble to know Does Gov Reeves’ coronavirus declaration clash with local orders

Reeves then issued his own executive order. Which one is more important? Leaders of several of the state’s largest counties and cities had to decide which priority they would give. Starkville Mayor Lynn Spruill stated that she would prefer that the governor had issued an executive order sooner so that everyone was affected the same. She also said that Mississippi Today would be following Reeves order. “But now that it is done, we will have the continuity and clearness that keeps us from passing the things that are unique to us but may not match neighboring towns,” Lynn Spruill, Starkville Mayor, said to Mississippi Today. Reeves’ legal staff designed the executive order as a minimum standard for state cities and counties. As Reeves’ state order conflicted with local orders, confusion ensued at town halls throughout the state. Reeves signed the statewide order Tuesday evening. It exempts all businesses that are considered “essential” in the state. Many cities and counties have previously defined essential businesses in a more narrow way. The governor’s order, for example, limits gatherings in public and private places to no more 10 people but allows restaurants to keep their dining rooms open so long as less than 10 people are present at the same time. Many counties and cities had required that restaurants close down their dining rooms. Reeves’ order does not have the same scope as other state gubernatorial declarations. Many of these include stay-at-home orders. It also doesn’t outline any enforcement actions that could be taken against individuals or businesses who violate the order. On Wednesday, several mayors met on conference calls to exchange notes and determine what should be done at their local level in order to comply with the governor’s orders. Staffers for Reeves received several calls on Wednesday from local mayors and attorneys looking for clarification. Reeves participated in a conference phone call Wednesday afternoon with representatives from the Mississippi Municipal League as well as several mayors to discuss the implications of his order. On Wednesday, the City of Oxford convened an emergency board of aldermen to discuss how their resolutions were compared with the governor’s. The meeting was chaired by Robyn Tannehill, the Oxford Mayor. Based on the language of the order, we felt that ours wouldn’t be able stay in place. However, I have just gotten off the phone to the governor and we’ve come up with the conclusion that all of our resolutions can remain in place.” According to the Daily Journal, Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton, who publicly criticized Reeves last week, calling it “just an abdication leadership at the highest levels of the state Mississippi” — will issue an amended order Wednesday to comply with Governor Mike Pence’s statewide order. The Tupelo City Council will meet Wednesday evening to address the issue. Mississippi Today spoke with George Flaggs, Vicksburg’s Mayor. He said that he has not modified his city’s policies in response to the governor’s order. Flaggs also stated that he doesn’t believe the order restricts what he can do within his community to combat the virus. Flaggs stated that local officials shut down Vicksburg’s restaurants and issued a nightly curfew between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. last week. Flaggs said, “I salute what he’s doing. I will take steps in Vicksburg for our people to be safe and minimize the cost to our people.” Clarksdale Mayor Chuck Espy said that the governor’s executive orders technically do not count towards the directives Clarksdale gives to citizens. His order is directed at businesses, while our directive is for Clarksdale residents. While the governor may choose to let his orders proceed in any way he likes, our orders will still be related. They are two distinct items to me.” Renae Emze, Reeves’ spokeswoman, said that the governor follows a “state managed and locally executed” principle. “…Governor Reeves has issued a new executive order that sets a standard for the state in terms of social distance and defines essential businesses to slow down the spread and protect public safety,” Eze stated in a statement to Mississippi Today. Bobby Harrison contributed to this report.