Updated: Mar 25, 2020
[UPDATED: 3/24/2020 at 7:20 pm - Added the link to the City of Frisco "Stay at Home" Order put out this evening.]
On Saturday night, my campaign sent out an email newsletter about the COVID-19 crisis, as well as the postponing of the May 2 local election. Please see the excerpt with the COVID update, below.
Since we sent this message on 3/21, a lot has happened:
On 3/22, Denton County issued an executive order that stopped short of "Shelter in Place" rules. On 3/24 (this morning), Collin County did the same and County Judge Chris Hill declared that "all businesses are essential." Then, just now on 3/24, Denton County has issued a new, more stringent update to its previous order.
The two county orders are not consistent with each other, nor with what the City of Frisco ordered on Friday 3/20-- but because county orders trump the cities, Frisco residents are now left with confusion about what actions to take.
Frisco is in a unique position, much like the city of Dallas, where the city borders do not align with county borders, and thus about 40% of our population is in Denton County and 60% is in Collin County. Our city leaders have to deal with two different sets of county officials and regulations. This is problematic in dozens of matters that affect our city and City Council's decisions, from animal control to election planning to road and highway maintenance.
But in a case like this one, it is not just an inconvenience; it has real health and economic impacts.
Do Frisco residents in Collin County abide by the Collin Co. orders, or the city's?
Unfortunately, it is not enough to simply tell people to stay home. As much as we all wish individuals would act responsibly and with concern for others, the government then also messages that they should feel free to take any action they see fit to protect their business and personal interests. Then, when there is overlap or differing interpretations of those two things, not everyone has a bright, clear understanding of what to do. People will behave at the lowest common denominator when they are afraid or uninformed; that's why we have ordinances and rules in a functioning society in the first place.
As a resident of Frisco, I have sent messages to our county and city leaders, asking them to please get on the same page for the benefit of Frisco residents. I urge you all to do the same. I also urge you to send a message to Governor Greg Abbott and request that he make a state-wide declaration, in order to eliminate this patchwork of confusing and contradictory policies in a time of crisis.
We elect leaders to lead. I hope we see more of that very soon, because the health of our community depends on it.
Updated: Thank you to Mayor Cheney and our city leaders for helping bring clarity to this conflicting information between the two counties. Read tonight's statement from City of Frisco.