Mayor King comments on COVID

Benson Mayor Toney King chats with friends at an event in 2018. 

BENSON — Monday evening’s regularly scheduled City Council meeting went a little over 15 minutes, with council unanimously approving three agenda items before going into executive session, then adjourning for the evening.

Under new business, council approved the consent agenda, an intergovernmental agreement between the City of Benson and Cochise County for the 2020 election, and the authorization of the execution of a court consolidated agreement between the City of Benson and Cochise County.

In her report, City Manager Vicki Vivian reminded the council of a special meeting on Wednesday, June 24th at 7 p.m. in the Community Center.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting is July 13 at 7 p.m., also in the Community Center, which is located at 705 W. Union St.

All city offices will be closed on July 3 in observance of the Fourth of July holiday. Benson’s July 4th festivities have been scaled back this year because of COVID-19 concerns. While the town’s spectacular fireworks show at Lions Park will be happening at Lions Park, there will be no parade, water fights, entertainment, vendors or other activities in the park throughout the day, as in past years.

Vivian also informed the council of summer programs and camps for children organized by the recreation department. The city pool is open, but with a 50 person limit. For information about any of the city’s programs go to the website at, Vivian said.

In an interview with Benson Mayor Toney King following Monday’s council meeting, he provided a brief update about COVID’s impact on Benson.

“Right now, we only have seven confirmed cases of the virus in Benson, so I feel really good about the extra care that people in our community are taking to protect themselves,” he said.

“While we recommend that our citizens wear face masks for their own protection, we are not requiring it. We urge the community to please follow CDC guidelines, keep up social distancing, wash your hands often and use hand sanitizers. Stay healthy and safe.”

King also pointed to some of the positive developments that have transpired in recent weeks.

“Our City Hall is now open and several of our services have come back,” he said. The Visitor Center, Community Center and city pool are open and available to the public, which is great news for our community.”

However, these places are open with specific guidelines in place, as the community’s safety is a priority.

“As long as I’ve been in politics, I have never experienced anything like this,” King said. “We truly are in uncharted waters. I’m extremely proud to be the mayor at this time, and am so proud of our community on all levels. People are doing everything they can to stay COVID free. This is a time in our history we will never forget.”

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