Developing: Mayors and Local Government Officials Are Meeting To Discuss Potential Stay-at-Home Order

Matt Briscoe
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(Southside Light News)--Mayors from across Nueces County are said to be having a conference call at this hour with Nueces County officials regarding what they are now calling a "Stay-At-Home" order.

A text message from one local government official said that the meeting was scheduled this morning with plans for a joint press conference in the near future.

There has been near total silence from Nueces County officials since Saturday as the numbers of cases here continue to rise and information surfaced on Monday about plans to put some sort of lockdown order in place.

What is being discussed among local officials is said to be about what exactly to call the order and what the exact definition of "essential" really is.

Residents have been kept out of the loop throughout the entire process and they have not been allowed an opportunity to provide input.

An official with Texas Governor Greg Abbott's office spoke with the Southside Light on Wednesday morning saying that they encourage local participation in these types of discussions even if it might be difficult.

"We encourage and expect local and county officials to include members of the public in all decision making aspects," the Governor's office said. "While it may prove difficult or impossible to include the public at meetings, it is still possible to allow for participation as these types of orders affect their daily lives."

They also maintained that public participation is critical and that is something that seems to not be happening, at least here locally.

Other cities and counties set up dedicated email addresses and communicated effectively with the local media, who relayed responses directly to both local officials and the public. All of the talk here locally seems to have been completed behind closed doors, without input from those whose lives will be impacted the most.

"I want to know exactly what they are planning on doing and this lack of communication has got to stop," said Corpus Christi resident Martin Flores. "Judge Canales and Mayor McComb need to understand that this might be a crisis but it is still America and not some sort of dictatorship."

Flores says that as a veteran he is appalled at how local government leaders are mishandling the communication aspect.

"I fought Communism in Vietnam and I will not stand for this kind of closed society," says Mr. Flores. "I know that they think they have our best intentions at heart but that is what they (former Communist leaders) said back then, too. They need to understand that this is still America and we have rights."

Flores says that to him the most important rights that we have is the right to information and the right to participate.

"All of this stuff one official saying one thing and another official saying another has got to come to an end and come to an end right this very second," he says.

Flores is not alone with his concerns. Residents say that they feel like there was an obvious decision made days ago and that in the meantime, there could have and should have been a route for public comment.

One thing for sure is that not only are people becoming weary, they are becoming skeptical of their leadership and that could spell big problems in the future.