Mayor of Champaign signs executive order giving herself emergency powers
The Mayor of Champaign, Illinois has signed an executive order giving herself emergency powers to ban the sale of guns and alcohol in a bid to “combat” the coronavirus outbreak, according to reports.
Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen assigned herself new powers to ban the sale of guns and alcohol by declaring a citywide emergency to address the spread of COVID-19.
Feinen signed the executive order Thursday declaring a state of emergency for the city.
That executive order comes with extraordinary powers but is in line with municipal code.
The mayor will be authorized to enact her new privileges over a short period of time as the city tackles the spread of the coronavirus.
After signing the executive order, Feinen gained the power to ban the sale of guns, ammunition, alcohol, and gasoline, among other extreme measures.
Feinen could also cut off access to individuals’ gas, water, or electricity, according to News Thud.
The city also has the ability to “take possession of private property” or order the temporary closing of all bars or liquor stores.
Jeff Hamilton, the city’s manager, told WAND, “The executive order allows the city to be flexible to properly respond to the emergency needs of our community.
“None of the options will necessarily be implemented but are available in order to protect the welfare and safety of our community if needed.”
The Champaign City Council held a meeting to address concerns about the powers granted to Feinen on Friday.
Deputy Mayor Tom Bruno noted that each ordinance considered under the executive order would be ratified by the council.
The city also released a statement claiming that the council and the mayor would only take steps “necessary to ensure the health, safety, and welfare” of the city.
“The City will keep the public’s best interest in mind as we continue to work alongside public health officials and countywide leaders,” the council said in a statement.
“We understand this is a challenging time but working collaboratively as a community is the best approach to combating this virus.”
Please read the statement below then watch the excerpt from today’s meeting, which explains what the emergency order entails. The full meeting will be shared on social media and on the City’s website shortly as well. https://t.co/MpVhs5woxW pic.twitter.com/Ly0EeNfFht
— City of Champaign (@champaigncity) March 13, 2020
As of Friday morning, Illinois had 32 confirmed cases of the coronavirus but no cases in central Illinois.
On Monday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a disaster proclamation as the state prepared to address the coronavirus.