Getting ready

Art Flores prepares food for a dine-in customer in the kitchen at Arizona Family Restaurant this week.

Sahuarita and Marana have sent Pima County a message about its 17 measures for reopening restaurants: You’ve gone too far.

The Pima County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday temporarily added 15 measures into county health code and said they come with a $500 fine on third and subsequent violations. The other two measures were left as recommendations.

The measures, most of which were opposed by the Arizona Restaurant Association, include masks for all servers; limiting occupancy to 50 percent; requiring reservations or call-ahead seating; paper menus; and eliminating self-service stations including salad bars, buffets and soda refill stations.

Supervisors Ramon Valadez, Sharon Bronson and Betty Villegas voted for them; Steve Christy and Ally Miller were opposed.

Sahuarita Mayor Tom Murphy and Marana Mayor Ed Honea said Thursday that they believe the measures go beyond state recommendations and violate Gov. Ducey’s newest executive order, which goes into effect Saturday. That order states “no county, city or town may make or issue any order, rule or regulation that conflicts with or is in addition to the policy, directives or intent of this Executive Order…”

Ducey’s order paved the way for restaurants to open May 11 while adhering to CDC guidelines to slow the spread of coronavirus.

“I don’t disagree that those 17 are probably good suggestions, but I trust our restaurateurs to always protect their staffs and clients to the best of their ability,” Murphy told the Green Valley News/Sahuarita Sun. He said the town will not mandate them “with regulations and fines.”

“We would see it as an addition to the governor’s guidance and we have tried to stay very aligned with the governor’s orders and proclamations,” Murphy said. “I will continue, to the best of my ability, to align what we’re doing in the town with what the governor’s direction has been.”

Honea agreed, saying, “we’re not going to be the cops for the county order. What the county is doing is using the Health Department to issue these orders, and I think this is kind of a way to circumvent what (the state) is doing.”

Both mayors said safety is a priority and that the governor’s orders address it.

Marana and Sahuarita both followed the county’s lead this week in modifying building and zoning requirements to allow for more usable seating and physical distancing.

“Tucson wants to stay locked down, the county is not as bad,” Honea said. “Marana and Sahuarita want to get back to work.”