County Commissioners Take First Step To Try to Take Over Hillsborough's COVID-19 Response
CW44 News At 10
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY (CW44 News At 10) - Hillsborough County Commissioners take a step toward taking power back from the Emergency Policy Group in regards to the COVID-19 response.
Stemming from a motion set forth by Chairman Les Miller, "I move that the county attorney draft an amendment to the latest orders creating the EPG returning the delegated emergency powers authority and enforcement options to the Board of County Commissioners, especially to deal with the current covid 19 pandemic."
The Hillsborough County Emergency Policy Group consists of three county commissioners, the mayors of Tampa, Plant City and Temple Terrace, the sheriff and the chair of the school board.
For decades, the EPG typically only activated during hurricanes. The EPG, not the county commission, currently has the power to renew the state of local emergency. A mask mandate, a curfew and other pandemic related decisions have been made by the EPG not the board of county commissioners since COVID-19.
On Tuesday, commissioners plan to discuss the attempt to return those emergency powers to the board of commissioners. A public hearing is set to be scheduled for August 5, 2020.
The motion that was brought forward to discussion does let the EPG keep the power for hurricane responses.
Official Press Release Provided By Hillsborough County Regarding The Manner
Hillsborough County, Fla. (July 18, 2020) - The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has scheduled a special meeting on Tuesday, July 21, to discuss an amendment to the ordinance that created the Emergency Policy Group.
The purpose of this special meeting is for the BOCC to approve an ordinance draft providing for a delegation of emergency management authority to the Emergency Policy Group for hurricanes and tropical storm threats, providing the BOCC with emergency management authority for all other disasters, pandemics, emergency occurrences, or threats thereof, and specifying that any existing executive orders of the Emergency Policy Group in effect as of the date of this amendment shall remain in effect; said amendments to be codified in the Hillsborough County Code of Ordinances. The BOCC is also being asked to authorize the advertising and scheduling of a public hearing for Aug. 5, 2020.
The virtual special meeting will be held immediately after the conclusion of the Land Use meeting and joint LDC and CPA workshops previously scheduled. The Land Use meeting begins at 9 a.m.
The special meeting will be conducted virtually, via a conferencing application. The public and the media can access the meetings live at:
- The County's official YouTube channel: YouTube.com/HillsboroughCounty
- The County's HTV channels on cable television: Spectrum 637 and Frontier 22
- The HCFLGov.net website by going to HCFLGov.net/newsroom and selecting the "Live Meeting" button
for more features.