Oh’s woes

The Republicans and a few Dems on City Council would like to see the mayor's powers checked when it comes to citywide lockdown measures.

feet up watching TV
Image: Graphic by John Montesano

A bill introduced in City Council recently would institute a duration limit of no more than 60 days on the mayor’s COVID-19 restrictions and require approval from Council for an extension beyond that. 

Offered up by Councilman David Oh, it would also require the mayor to be more inclusive of Council when implementing public health orders in the future.

Although the resolution failed by a vote of 11-6, it offered some hope that members of the largely Democratic body wanted their voices heard on matters that directly affected their constituents. Councilwoman Helen Gym, who starkly opposed the bill, said it would “endanger our city and state.” 

Oh said his legislation was merely trying to establish Council oversight and ensure emergency orders from the administration don’t go unchecked for long periods of time.

“It is irresponsible not to take up a position of participation, which is our responsibility – of checks and balances – whether it is the president of the United States, the governor of any state or the mayor of any municipality,” he said.