Doña Ana county’s positive COVID-19 cases have jumped into the double digits — now at 13 — the third largest total after Santa Fe and Bernalillo counties. Las Cruces, the largest metropolitan area in Doña Ana county and southern New Mexico, has yet to declare a public emergency, however. That may change soon.
The city council is scheduled to hold a special meeting tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. to amend the Las Cruces Municipal Code to include a new article giving the mayor additional powers during an emergency. Mayor Ken Miyagishima said without that action, he’s hindered from taking emergency action.
“According to our city attorney, it’s not as clear or as concise as it should be to allow me to [take emergency action],” Miyagishima said in an interview.
Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller declared a local state of emergency on March 18, when New Mexico was reporting 28 cases statewide. But Keller needed the city council to approve new powers for the mayor.
If passed tomorrow, the ordinance will allow Miyagshima to move forward with emergency actions without getting votes from the city council.