With Coronavirus deaths in the US, as of 3/16, rising to 69, governmental responses have been enthusiastic and proactive, to say the least.
I think that a record of some kind was set by one Deborah Frank Feinen, two-term mayor of Champaign, Illinois, a small city of 81,000 souls in Central Illinois, joint home with its sister city Urbana of
a major satellite [Correction: the main] campus of the state university.
Deborah Feinen, last Friday, issued an Executive Order, confirmed immediately by the city council, which confers upon the mayor such deliciously complete powers that it seems an oversight that the edict did not also modify her title to God-Empress.
Her mayoralty’s ascension to Divine status and assumption of her full powers made national news on the basis of Provisions 6 and 7 which authorized her Imperial Supremeness to ban firearm sales and transfers and to confiscate them at will, but really the full 30 Provisions basically entitle the Divine Deborah to set aside the US Constitution, the entire corpus of Common Law, and all customary rights to personal freedom and property as she sees fit.
After the declaration of an emergency, the Mayor may in the interest of public safety and welfare make any or all of the following orders and provide the following direction:
(1) Issue such other orders as are imminently necessary for the protection of life and property.
(2) Order a general curfew applicable to such geographical areas of the City or to the City as a whole, as the Mayor deems advisable, and applicable during such hours of the day or night as the Mayor deems necessary in the interest of public safety and welfare.
(3) Order the closing of all retail liquor stores, including taverns and private clubs or portions thereof wherein the consumption of intoxicating liquor and beer is permitted;
(4) Order the discontinuance of the sale of alcoholic liquor by any wholesaler or retailer;
(5) Order the discontinuance of selling, distributing, or giving away gasoline or other liquid flammable or combustible products in any container other than a gasoline tank properly affixed to a motor vehicle;
(6) Order the discontinuance of selling, distributing, dispensing or giving away of explosives or explosive agents, firearms or ammunition of any character whatsoever;
(7) Order the control, restriction and regulation within the City by rationing, issuing quotas, fixing or freezing prices, allocating the use, sale or distribution of food, fuel, clothing and other commodities, materials, goods or services or the necessities of life;
(8) (a) Order City employees or agents, on behalf of the City, to take possession of any real or personal property of any person, or to acquire full title or such lesser interest as may be necessary to deal with a disaster or emergency, and to take possession of and for a limited time, occupy and use any real estate to accomplish alleviation of the disaster, or the effects thereof;
(b) In the event any real or personal property is utilized by the City, the City shall be liable to the owner thereof for the reasonable value of the use or for just compensation as the case may be.
(9) Order restrictions on ingress or egress to parts of the City to limit the occupancy of any premises;
(10) To make provision for the availability and use of temporary emergency housing;
(11) Temporarily suspend, limit, cancel, convene, reschedule, postpone, continue, or relocate all meetings of the City Council, and any City committee, commission, board, authority, or other City body as deemed appropriate by the Mayor.
(12) Require closing of business establishments.
(13) Prohibit the sale or distribution within the City of any products which could be employed in a manner which would constitute a danger to public safety.
(14) Temporarily close any and all streets, alleys, sidewalks, bike paths, public parks or public ways.
(15) Temporarily suspend or modify, for not more than sixty (60) days, any regulation or ordinance of the City, including, but not limited to, those regarding health, safety, and zoning. This period may be extended upon approval of the City Council.
(16) Suspend or limit the use of the water resources or other infrastructure.
(17) Control, restrict, allocate, or regulate the use, sale, production, or distribution of food, water, fuel, clothing, and/or other commodities, materials, goods, services and resources.
(18) Suspend or limit burning of any items or property with the City limits and up to two (2) miles outside the corporate limits.
(19) Direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from any stricken or threatened areas within the City if the mayor deems this action is necessary for the preservation of life, property, or other disaster or emergency mitigation, response or recovery and to prescribe routes, modes of transportation and destination in connection with an evacuation.
(21) Approve application for local, state, or federal assistance.
(22) Establish and control routes of transportation, ingress or egress.
(23) Control ingress and egress from any designated disaster or emergency area or home, building or structures located therein.
(24) Approve the transfer the direction, personnel, or functions of City departments and agencies for the purpose of performing or facilitating emergency or disaster services.
(25) Accept services, gifts, grants, loans, equipment, supplies, and/or materials whether from private, nonprofit, or governmental sources.
(26) Require the continuation, termination, disconnection, or suspension of natural gas, electrical power, water, sewer, communication or other public utilities or infrastructure.
(27) Close or cancel the use of any municipally owned or operated building or other public facility.
(28) Declare, issue, enforce, modify and terminate orders for quarantine and isolation of persons or animals posing a threat to the public, not conflicting with the directions of the Health Officer of the community.
(29) Exercise such powers and functions in light of the exigencies of emergency or disaster including the waiving of compliance with any time consuming procedures and formalities, including notices, as may be prescribed by law.
(30) Issue any and all such other orders or undertake such other functions and activities as the Mayor reasonably believes is required to protect the health, safety, and welfare of persons or property within the City or otherwise preserve the public peace or abate, clean up, or mitigate the effects of any emergency or disaster.
If Deborah the Magnificent should decided to appoint herself a one-goddess Committee of Public Safety and take possession of all private and personal property and food and medicine, if she decided to confiscate all firearms, ban protests and assemblies, ban the personal movement of any or all of her 81,000 subjects, and erect a guillotine in Champaign’s Place de la Concorde, well, there you have it! the city council confirmed all of her powers.
Amusingly, national comment over the possible gun confiscations on the basis of a virus ensued, and faced with criticism, her honor the mayor quickly retreated from Olympus, issuing a public denial stating: “there is currently no firearm ban and no intent to seize property or close businesses. Additionally, there are no restrictions on the sale of alcohol or gas or the ability to enter or leave Champaign.”
The list of 30 powers and authority, sufficient to do anything and everything, was pruned down to a modest 11, and all the grandiose claims of powers over persons and property oddly enough went missing. And, in conclusion, we were all assured that nothing was going on here, we were completely mistaken in being concerned. Nothing was changed.
The Mayor has the authority to exercise other emergency powers under the Champaign Municipal Code Section 12-39, which have been in existence since 2006; however, and under the known circumstances, no further measures are anticipated.
Uh huh! Right!