City Reps Svarzbein, Annello, and Hernandez submit agenda items addressing COVID-19

Friday morning, City representatives Svarzbein, Annello, and Hernandez announced that they have cosponsored nine items for the City Council Work Session on November 9, 2020 which they say “aim to seek further activation of measures to enhance the safety of the community and manage the spread of COVID-19 in El Paso.”

Among the items for discussion and consideration are the events that unfolded leading to the City’s nonenforcement of the County Stay at Home Order No. 13.

“Representative Svarzbein said, “I think it is crucial to have a conversation about why our City government decided that inaction was the best approach, and who so proactively led the effort to do nothing. We need to act with the County to seek the local control we need in order to effectively combat the spread of COVID-19 instead of adding to the confusion about enforceability.”

“The decisions that are being made to address our staggering COVID-19 statistics have life and death implications for El Pasoans. It is absolutely vital to have this discussion to ensure we exercise checks and balances within City leadership,” Representative Hernandez said,

Representative Annello said, “At a time when lives are at stake, it is crucial to have united front between governments. Our City is at high risk, every action or in action leadership makes directly impacts El Paso families.”

Items for the Work Session include:

  1. Discussion and action on imposing a moratorium on any new permits and licenses for bars converting to restaurants in El Paso until the surge in active COVID-19 cases reduces for seven consecutive days.
  2. Discussion and Action on COVID-19 contact tracing and methodology used when issuing citations to individuals or businesses violating COVID-19 Emergency ordinances.
  3. Update and action on meetings to occur between the City manager and City staff with the County Judge and County staff on the implementation of COVID-19 regulations and orders.
  1. Discussion and presentation by the City Attorney’s office on the City of El Paso Mayor’s responsibility and role in representing the City in intra-governmental and intergovernmental relationships.
  2. Discussion on the El Paso Mayor’s authority over City staff to act or not act on emergency orders imposed by the County.
  1. Discussion and action to express power granted to Council by the City Charter Section 3.8 to use investigative powers to inquire into the official conduct and communications of the offices of City Attorney, City Manager, El Paso Police Department, 311, OEM, and Mayor’s office, and any other relevant parties or individuals, into the sequence of events leading into the resulting non-enforcement of the County Judge’ Stay at Home/Stay Safe Order No. 13 issued on October 29, 2020.
  1. Discussion and Action to direct the City Attorney to create a legal process in which the City shall follow to implement enforcement of City and County emergency orders and ordinances.
  2. Discussion and Action to direct the City Attorney to take appropriate measures to support/intervene El Paso County on potential litigation regarding County Judge Stay at Home/Stay Safe Order No. 13 issued on October 29, 2020.
  3. Discussion and action on the City of El Paso’s adoption and implementation of El Paso County Stay at Home/Stay Safe Order No. 13, directing the City Attorney to draft the Home/Stay Safe Order No. 13 into a City document.