At a special meeting this morning, March 27, 2020, the Las Cruces City Council unanimously approved an emergency declaration ordinance that allows the mayor and City Council to take immediate action in the event of a declared emergency. The action stated in the ordinance is for the protection of life and property, and for the preservation of public peace, safety, health, welfare, and for the continuity of efficient government operations.
The ordinance allows the council to exercise its emergency powers through a proclamation. The term of a proclamation is three days, but the council can extend the term for up to 14 days, at which time an extension orrenewal would be required. The ordinance will expire at the end of the current mayor’s term.
The proclamation becomes effective immediately upon its signing by the mayor, but the mayor shall give public notice of its contents through public and private media
The ordinance includes the following sections:
Sec. 9-36 – Proclamation of emergency; regulations.
When the mayor, or in the event of the mayor’s inability to act, the mayor pro tem, determines in consultation with the emergency manager, chief of police, and/or fire chief that a civil emergency, disaster or emergency exists in themunicipality, the mayor may proclaim a state of emergency in the area affected and may also request that the governor proclaim a state of emergency. During the existence of the state of emergency, the mayor may, byproclamation:
A. Prohibit any person being on the public streets, in the public parks, or at any other public place during the hours proclaimed by the mayor to be a period of curfew;
B. Prohibit any designated number of persons from assembling or gathering on the public streets, public parks, or other open areas, either public or private, or in any public building;
C. Prohibit the manufacture, transfer, use, possession, or transportation of any device or object designed to explode or produce uncontained combustion;
D. Prohibit the transportation, possession or use of combustible, flammable or explosive materials in a glass or uncapped container of any kind, except in connection with the normal operation of motor vehicles, normal home use, or legitimate commercial use;
E. Prohibit the use of certain streets or highways by the public;
F. Control routes related to ingress and egress throughout the city based on the needs of emergency services responding to the emergency or disaster;
G. Require evacuation of residents in the area affected by the emergency or disaster;
Sec. 9- 37 – Proclamation of emergency; additional regulations; approval by governing body. When the mayor or the mayor pro tem determines that a disaster or emergency exists, in accordance with section 9-36 of this Article,during the existence of the state of emergency, the mayor or mayor pro tem may by proclamation:
A. Prohibit other activities the mayor reasonably believes necessary to help maintain life, property, health, welfare, safety or public peace;
B. Require the city manager to direct city employees, as applicable to perform emergency functions;
C. Require the use of available resources of the city as reasonably necessary;
D. Utilize the services of non-city personnel and resources necessary to adequately respond to the declared emergency;
E. Utilize the services of non-city personnel and resources necessary to assist in the relocation or return of non-United States citizens to their country of citizenship or assist in the relocation of those seeking asylum inthe United States; and
F. Designate a substitute signatory for emergency obligation of funds during the pendency of the declared emergency.
G. When the mayor exercises authority in accordance with this section 9-37, the governing body shall approve such action by resolution at their next available properly noticed meeting.