From the April 1999 Idaho Observer:


Has your city adopted this "emergency" ordinance?

by Don Harkins

The following Ordinance 2799, which was formally adopted in Ashland, Oregon, March 18, 1997, in the wake of a declared state of emergency due to spring floods, is making the rounds in other Oregon municipalities. Medford, Oregon is currently considering the adoption of a nearly identical ordinance.

This ordinance places into the hands of an unelected city manager the authority to take over control of virtually all public and private activities during a declared state of emergency.

“The ordinance was adopted mainly to address fiscal concerns,” commented Ron Doyle of the Ashland City Attorney's Office.

Doyle explained that if floods or some other catastrophe creates damages beyond the resources of a community, it is only after an official declaration of emergency that state and federal funds will be released to help restore the lives and property of affected people.

Since the language of this ordinance is more sophisticated than language commonly used in the text of most ordinances actually originating in small towns and small counties throughout the country, it appeared that this was a “template” ordinance drafted by an agency or organization that specializes in alternative forms of government.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region X official Bill Gadberry looked and could not find a FEMA model ordinance for the assumption of emergency powers by a city manager. FEMA does provide cities and counties with model ordinances for land use planning, but “that would be too Big-Brotherish,” said Gadberry in reference to the possibility that a federal FEMA model exists that would outline the assumption of police powers by an unelected official at the community level.

The concept of unelected officials wielding tremendous power in local government was exposed by Jo Hindman in the 1950s. Hindman uncovered the think tank for alternative (unconstitutional) forms of government in the pamphlet Terrible 1313. Hindman's pamphlet, and her three subsequent works, Terrible 1313 Revisited, The Metrocrats and Blame Metro, detailed the intended, systematic replacement of elected, constitutional city and county governments with regional, multi-jurisdictional metropolitan governments that hired, rather than elected, people to occupy positions of power and authority.

To any student of government and world history, governments that staff positions of authority with people who are not elected by the people are socialist governments that are contrary to everything that this country was designed to stand for.

The original title Terrible 1313 came from the think tank's “home” which was identified by Hindman to be 1313 60th Street, Chicago, Illinois -- the University of Chicago.

Metropolitan governments have been adopted in many largely populated areas throughout the U.S. People have voted to turn power over to unelected appointees after being told that taxes would reduce themselves when “business people” would be hired to run government like businesses.

Now that many U.S. cities, large and small, have altered their forms of government to include unelected city managers to run the day-to-day affairs of city government as a business, emergency powers ordinances are being adopted and are giving all of the emergency powers to the unelected city manager.

This maneuver is perfectly in keeping with the socialist schemers of Terrible 1313.

With weather patterns being so unstable lately that every region of the country is subject to unseasonably severe storms, droughts, floods, wildfires, earthquakes and other potential natural disasters, and concerns over Y2K and the possibility that WWIII has already begun, the ordinance below, a model ordinance from the minds of people who intend for you to live in a communist country, should be of concern.

Please confront your local mayor and city council to see if: 1) Such and ordinance has already been adopted; 2) If such an ordinance is being considered and; 3) If it is time to repeal an ordinance that will facilitate the death of our Constitutional Republic at the local level -- one city at a time.

AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR DECLARATION OF EMERGENCIES AND AUTHORIZING THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR TO ORDER MEASURES IN RESPONSE TO EMERGENCIES.

THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF ASHLAND DO ORDAIN AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. Chapter 2.62 is added to the Ashland Municipal Code and shall read as follows:

Chapter 2.62

EMERGENCY POWERS

Sections:

2.62.010 Definitions.

2.62.020 City Administrator Responsibility.

2.62.030 Declaration and Ratification of Emergency.

2.62.040 Authority of City Administrator.

2.62.050 Regulations of Persons and Property.

2.62.060 Additional Powers During Emergency.

2.62.070 Termination of State of Emergency.

SECTION 2.62.010 Definitions. The following words and phrases whenever used in this chapter shall be construed as defined in this section unless from the context a different meaning is intended.

    A. “Emergency” includes any human caused or natural event or circumstances causing or threatening loss of life, injury to person or property, human suffering or financial loss, and includes, but is not limited to, fire, explosion, flood, severe weather, drought, earthquake, spills or releases of oil or hazardous material, contamination, disease, blight, infestation, civil disturbance or riot.

    B. “Emergency Management Plan” means that plan entitled “City of Ashland Emergency Management Plan” adopted by resolution of the council or as may be amended from time to time in subsequent resolutions.

SECTION 2.62.020 City Administrator Responsibility. The city administrator is responsible for implementation of the Emergency Management Plan. When the administrator determines that a state of emergency exists, the administrator shall make a declaration to that effect and request the mayor to call a special meeting of the council in order to ratify the declaration of emergency. The special meeting of the council shall occur as soon as possible after the declaration of emergency. Notwithstanding section 2.04.110, notice of the special meeting need not be written and need not be delivered at least 36 hours in advance.

Section 2.62.030 Declaration and Ratification of Emergency.

A. The declaration by the city administrator of a state of emergency shall:

1. State the nature of the emergency.

2. Designate the geographical boundaries of the area subject to the emergency controls.

3. State the duration of time during which the area so designated shall remain an emergency area.

4. State any special regulations imposed as a result of the state of emergency.

B. The ratification by the council may also authorize additional specific emergency powers for the duration of the emergency period set forth in the declaration.

Section 2.62.040 Authority of City Administrator. During a declared emergency, the city administrator shall have authority to:

A. Exercise, within the area designated in the proclamation, all police powers vested in the city by the Oregon Constitution, city charter and city ordinances in order to reduce the vulnerability of the city to loss of life, injury to persons or property and human suffering and financial loss resulting from emergencies, and to provide for recovery and relief assistance for the victims of emergencies.

B. Direct any department of the city to utilize and employ city personnel, equipment and facilities for the performance of any activities designed to prevent or alleviate actual or threatened damage due to the emergency, and may direct the departments to provide supplemental services and equipment to federal, state or local agencies to restore any services in order to provide for the health and safety of the citizens of the city.

C. Designate persons to coordinate the work of public and private relief agencies operating in such area and exclude from such area any person or agency refusing to cooperate with and work under such coordinator or to cooperate with other agencies engaged in emergency work.

D. Require the aid and assistance of any state or other public or quasi-public agencies in the performance of duties and work attendant upon the emergency conditions in such area.

E. Clear or remove from publicly or privately owned land or water, debris and wreckage which may threaten public health or safety, or public or private property.

1. In exercising this authority the city administrator may:

a. Accept funds from the federal government or the State of Oregon for the purpose of removing debris or wreckage from publicly or privately owned land or water.

b. Present to the State of Oregon unconditional authorization for removal of such debris or wreckage from public and private property and, in the case of removal of debris or wreckage from private property, agree to indemnify the state government against any claim arising from such removal.

2. Whenever the city administrator provides for clearance of debris or wreckage pursuant to this section, employees of the city or individuals appointed by the city administrator are authorized to enter upon private lands or waters and perform any tasks necessary to the removal or clearance operation.

3. Except in cases of willful misconduct, gross negligence or bad faith, any employee or individual appointed by the city administrator authorized to perform duties necessary to the removal of debris or wreckage shall not be liable for death of or injury to persons or damage to property.

Section 2.62.050 Regulations of Persons and Property. When a state of emergency is declared to exist and has been ratified, the city administrator:

A. May order the following measures in the interest of the public health, safety, or welfare, in the area designated as an emergency area:

1. Redirect city funds for emergency use and suspend standard city procurement procedures.

2. Establish a curfew that fixes the hours during which all other than officially authorized personnel may be upon the public streets or other public places.

3. Prohibit or limit the number of persons who may gather or congregate upon any public street, public place, or any outdoor place.

4. Barricade streets and prohibit vehicular or pedestrian traffic, or regulate the traffic on any public street leading to the emergency area for such distance as necessary under the circumstances.

5. Evacuate persons.

6. Prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages.

7. Prohibit or restrict the sale of gasoline, or other flammable liquids.

8. Prohibit the sale, carrying, or possession of any weapons or explosives of any kind on public streets, public places, or any outdoor place.

9. Curtail or suspend commercial activity.

10. Turn off water, gas, or electricity.

11. Control, restrict and regulate by rationing, freezing, use of quotas, prohibitions on shipments, price fixing, allocation or other means, the use, sale or distribution of food, fuel, clothing and other commodities, materials, goods and services.

12. Close all roads and highways in such area to traffic or limit the travel on such roads to such extent as the city administrator deems necessary and expedient.

13. Order such other measures necessary for the protection of life or property, or for the recovery from the emergency.

B. All orders issued under authority conferred by this section shall have the full force and effect of law during the declaration of a state of emergency. All existing laws, ordinances, rules and orders inconsistent with this chapter shall be inoperative during this period of time and to the extent such inconsistencies exist.

Section 2.62.060 Additional Powers During Emergency. During the existence of an emergency, the city administrator may:

A. Enter into purchase, lease or other arrangements with any agency of the United States or the State of Oregon for temporary housing units to be occupied by disaster victims.

B. Accept or borrow funds from or passed through by the State of Oregon for temporary housing for disaster victims.

C. Upon determination that the city will suffer a substantial loss of tax and other revenues from a major disaster and that there is a demonstrated need for financial assistance to perform its governmental functions, apply to the federal and state government, or request the state to apply on the city's behalf, for grants and loans and to receive, on behalf of the city, such grants and loans.

D. Determine the amount needed to restore or resume the city's governmental functions, and to certify the same to the State of Oregon or the federal government.

Section 2.62.070 Termination of State of Emergency. The city administrator shall terminate the state of emergency by proclamation when the emergency no longer exists, or when the threat of an emergency has passed. The state of emergency proclaimed by the city administrator may be terminated at any time by the council.

The foregoing ordinance was first read by title only in accordance with Article X, Section 2(C) of the City Charter on the -- 4th -- day of -- March, 1997, and duly PASSED and ADOPTED this 18th day of March, 1997.

Barbara Christensen, City Recorder

SIGNED and APPROVED this 19th day of March , 1997.