SAN CLEMENTE, Calif.—San Clemente city officials voted 3–2 on a resolution April 5 that supports calling upon California lawmakers to revoke Gov. Gavin Newsom's COVID-19 State of Emergency powers.
“I brought the resolution to City Council in order to express my overwhelming concern regarding Governor Newsom’s overreach of executive power,” Mayor Gene James told The Epoch Times via email. “Our citizens were victimized by the unleashing of the weaponized CCP virus by the Communist Chinese Party and victimized again by Governor Newsom’s Emergency Order.”
“We should have returned to business as usual long ago. What we see with Governor Newsom is an unprecedented rise in both authoritarianism and statism. Local control must be returned to the cities of our State.”
San Clemente Mayor Pro Tem Chris Duncan and Councilwoman Kathy Ward voted against the resolution. They were not immediately available for comment.
Although it is unclear why Ward opposed the resolution, she asked during the April 5 council meeting if the city adopts the order, would it lose certain powers granted to the city, like waiving parking rules, and consuming alcohol or outdoor dining in public spaces.
"I want to make sure before we all voted for that, and we were giving up all the rights that we have by virtue of this order," Ward said.
San Clemente City Attorney Scott Smith said during the April 5 meeting the resolution only rejects the notion of the ongoing state of emergency rather than contradicting the orders.
"It really has no effect in terms of reversing the opportunities and those statutory platforms," Smith said.
San Clemente officials called for "a return to normalcy in both civic and social life" by adopting the resolution.
The resolution supports the adoption of Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 5, a measure introduced by Sen. Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore), that would terminate Newsom's March 4, 2020, emergency orders proclamation.
Melendez called on the governor to end the state of emergency days after cameras caught him maskless at the National Football Conference Superbowl game at Inglewood's SoFi Stadium earlier this year.
In a previous interview, she told The Epoch Times that the state continues to "play a charade" under Newsom's orders.
At least 21 states are still under COVID-19 emergency orders.
Earlier this year, Newsom lifted most of California’s COVID-19 related executive orders while keeping the state of emergency declaration in place.
SCR 5 failed to move forward during a March 15 hearing, but the measure can still be considered at a future committee meeting.