Tucson Mayor Romero thumbs nose at Ducey order saying no COVID vaccine mandates
PHOENIX — Tucson Mayor Regina Romero has no intention of following an executive order from Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey that says cities and other municipalities can’t mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for employees.
Romero on Friday said the Pima County city will keep its requirement for vaccination to maintain employment.
“Arizona Attorney General Brnovich already told the governor what he doesn’t want to hear,” Romero said in a statement. “He has no authority to preempt local actions through executive orders.”
Ducey issued the nine-page Executive Order 2021-21, which mostly deals with enhanced surveillance and monitoring to limit the spread of the virus, on Wednesday.
CJ Karamargin, a Ducey spokesman, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday that the order was an extension of a previous one that has been in place since January.
“COVID mandates of any kind – whether they concern masks or vaccines – have proven to be divisive and counterproductive,” Karamargin said. “Gov. Ducey believes Arizonans can and should make their own decisions about their health care, not an overreaching federal or city government.”
The Tucson City Council approved an ordinance in November that said employees of Arizona’s second-largest city who haven’t received at least one shot of the vaccine and have not received an approved exception or accommodation by Dec. 1 could be fired.
Romero said 99% of employees have complied with the requirement or were granted an exception.
“Our employees answered the call to protect each other and protect our community,” Romero said.