On Friday, it was reported that the Roswell City Council is exploring options to take legal action against Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham for her lockdown of the state which has devastating ramifications on the City.
The City Council will consider whether to direct City Manager Joe Neeb “to not enforce emergency orders issued by the governor concerning COVID-19 through any of the city departments.”
Another agenda item the Council will consider is if it would direct Neeb to investigate legal options against Lujan Grisham “for damages to the city of Roswell caused by emergency orders concerning COVID-19.”
Neeb said at a Thursday forum that “According to the public health order, not wearing a mask is a misdemeanor. It is unclear how to enforce the mandate,” among other concerns. He also said that the Roswell Police Department will answer calls about violations of the order, “but will prioritize them against other calls,” according to the Roswell Daily Record.
“She can’t just protect our health, she has to protect our economy. There has been real damage done to the economy,” City Councilor Jacob Roebuck said. City Councilor Barry Foster said that the loss in lodger’s taxes is about $30,000 to $60,000 a month from normal levels. The action taken by the council will give the city manager “clear direction in looking at the city’s options of legal action to recover those losses,” according to Roebuck.
The Council’s action is just the latest from local leaders in response to Lujan Grisham’s strict public health order, which is estimated to close 20% of New Mexico’s restaurants permanently. Peaceful protests have erupted across the state with calls for the Governor to reopen the state, let employees get back to work, and children back to school.
According to the Roswell Daily Record:
“The council will meet at 5 p.m. Thursday in Meeting Room A of the Roswell Convention & Civic Center. The public is encouraged to watch the meeting virtually rather than attend in person due to the pandemic.
The meeting can be joined through GoToMeeting at global.gotomeeting.com/join/815060573, by calling 669-224-3412 and using access code 815-060-573, or viewed on the city’s YouTube channel.”