South Portland manager granted emergency powers as city and Cape Elizabeth declare local emergencies

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SOUTH PORTLAND — City Manager Scott Morelli was granted unexpected emergency powers by the Metropolis Council through an on the internet general public conference Tuesday, giving him the authority “to shield daily life and property” throughout the coronavirus disaster.
He is now permitted to challenge directives on his individual, such as, if necessary, limiting motion of persons and motor vehicles in the town.
The coronavirus is forcing officers in South Portland, Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough to deal with numerous new realities this 7 days, as all but Scarborough also declared local states of unexpected emergency.
South Portland Mayor Katherine Lewis declaring a state of crisis during a digital city council assembly this 7 days. Area communities have begun keeping digital public conferences due to the coronavirus disaster. Sean Murphy
The South Portland Metropolis Council has unanimously prolonged indefinitely a declaration of unexpected emergency signed by Mayor Katherine Lewis.
Morelli confident the community there was no will need for any even further polices, and he would announce any new laws to the media and on social media.
Councilor April Caricchio mentioned that all through a crisis this sort of as the one made by COVID-19, Morelli needs to be capable to get fast action on the city’s behalf.
“(The council) can’t act incredibly, really rapidly,” she reported. “It’s a great deal wiser to have 1 stage man or woman.”
All a few communities are also dealing with the fact that for municipal small business to continue, anyone, from elected leaders to the general community, will have to get applied to teleconferencing computer software for the foreseeable long run.
The latest crisis laws signed into legislation by Gov. Janet Mills has granted local officials permission to hold meetings on the web until the crisis has passed.
All 7 South Portland city councilors, together with Morelli and City Clerk Emily Scully attended Tuesday’s meeting by using teleconferencing program, even though users of the community also dialed in. Some attendees had to link by phone.
Cape Elizabeth held a very similar meeting Wednesday evening. While the council did not vote to grant Town Supervisor Matthew Sturgis unexpected emergency powers, the council did vote six-1 to enact a declaration of unexpected emergency, lasting until Could 1. The declaration mirrored a equivalent order the metropolis of Portland issued previously this week. The nearby order, on the other hand, taken off motels from the record of essential organizations to continue being open up.
A person bone of competition was regardless of whether to consist of a shelter-in-spot buy. Councilor James Garvin was specifically worried about the expression not currently being adequately described.
“It’s a phrase we’re throwing all around without having a whole lot of specificity,” he said.
In the conclude, the council extra the provision: “All residents of, non permanent citizens, and people to the town of Cape Elizabeth are strongly urged to continue being in their residence or spot of abode besides to accessibility COVID-19 essential fantastic and companies, workout, and pet walking.”
The measure passed by a vote of six-1, with Garvin in opposition.
In Scarborough, Town Manager Tom Hall said officers held a virtual finance committee assembly Tuesday afternoon as a take a look at of the teleconferencing know-how. The town will hold a city council assembly on the internet April 15, and Corridor mentioned there may be a special city council meeting as early as future 7 days. For now, he reported, all conferences will most likely be held similarly to how South Portland and Cape Elizabeth are functioning, with agendas going out on line with guidance to the general public on how to show up at.
“I assume it’s heading to be the new ordinary for the foreseeable foreseeable future,” he claimed.
Distinctive meetings, meaning all those outside the house the standard conference timetable, Corridor said, will probably have an agenda confined to time-delicate issues and other urgent enterprise.
“It’s obviously our intent to get back again to city business as significantly as meetings go, albeit pretty much,” he stated.
Sean Murphy — 780-9094
[email protected]

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