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Plano could add restrictions to the city’s local disaster declaration over coronavirus



PLANO, TX – The Plano City Council canceled a meeting Wednesday to vote on whether to update its declaration of local disaster due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“The governor’s revised order addressed the concerns of council members, so they cancelled the meeting,” city spokesman Steve Stoler said via text message.

The city already had in place restrictions on dining and the closure of some businesses. It had also discussed the possibility of a stay-at-home ordinance that would mirror surrounding municipalities.

“Whatever we do, our ultimate goal is really to drive behavior to encourage people to stay at home,” Mayor Harry LaRosiliere said during a council meeting Monday.

LaRosiliere said during the meeting that he has talked in-depth with other mayors, and there’s a desire for more collaboration. He suggested making a policy that is more in line with other area cities.

Also at Monday’s city council meeting, officials expressed a desire for balance, citing restrictions that could save lives but could also limit people’s ability to earn a living and support their families.

“At this point, our physical life and health is probably a little bit more important than our ability to make money,” said council member Maria Tu, who said she would favor more restrictions, but they would need to align with other cities.

Council member Kayci Prince noted that people in Plano are passionate on both sides of the issue. Some residents want to see everything shut down while others are struggling to keep money flowing.

One of Prince’s questions was how the city could enforce additional restrictions.

“There is no net positive outcome for this,” council member Shelby Williams said. “No matter what the council does, there will be a negative outcome both in terms of lives and livelihoods.”

He noted that many families are barely “scraping by” and not everyone has the luxury of being able to work from home.

“Striking the right balance is crucial,” he said. “And again, I don’t have the magic formula. I don’t know what that right balance is, but we’ve got to try to make sure there is another side of this from which we emerge.”

Council members originally planned to have the city attorney draw up a proposal that would mirror stay-at-home ordinances of surrounding municipalities.