Mayors Write Letter to Governor Abbott
Mayors from Edinburg, Mission, Pharr, and McAllen, gathered together to write a letter with the subject line ‘Local Jurisdiction,’ to Greg Abbott asking for their power back to implement rules for their cities.
“We’ve already been working together, we’re 80% there, we just have a little bit of things we need to re-tweak and we’ll be ready to go,” said Mayor Richard Molina of Edinburg.
In this letter, sent out on Friday, June 26, they ask for more power to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Currently, they can sign the order together, but they will not be able to fine anyone for not following the orders due to Governor Abbott’s order in effect.
For the meanwhile, the four mayors plan to address the same rules for the same time and same days in order to help alleviate confusion from residents who travel to and from the neighboring cities.
In this letter, they ask for enforcement in two areas, enforcing residents to wear face coverings and limit gathered people in a single setting. Without enforcement, the order doesn’t make sense for anyone from business owners to customers and residents.
“The Governor doesn’t want us to do criminal penalty’s but the only way the business owner can not violate the law is to get that guy kicked out and the only way you can do that with forces is to say that’s a criminal trespassing, a class A misdemeanor, but the governor doesn’t want us to use criminal penalty, so it ties our hands, ties business owners hands, puts the business owner between the customers, it’s not a good idea to do that,” said McAllen Mayor Jim Darling.
By making masks mandatory, it avoids residents from spending jail time for not wearing them.
“We don’t feel comfortable doing it that way, we’d rather have our code enforcement go out there and say here’s a fine for violating city ordinance for not wearing a mask, we’re asking you to leave or you get a fine instead of jail. because he’s not violating the law, it’s the business owner violating the law for not getting rid of them, the only way the business owner can do that is to file a criminal trespass against them,” said Darling, “That’s a Class A misdemeanor.”
With this said, we continue to encourage everyone to please practice social distancing, wear face coverings, and practice proper hygiene at all times.