Curfew closes Gilbert meetings to public; no protests seen in town

Gilbert Public Safety
The Gilbert Police Department will be enforcing Gov. Doug Ducey's statewide curfew in town. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Gilbert Police Department will be enforcing Gov. Doug Ducey's statewide curfew in town. (Tom Blodgett/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Gilbert Town Council meeting for June 2 will still take place but remain closed to the public, with several items tabled, as part of the town’s response to the statewide curfew, town officials said.

The curfew also affects programming items in the coming week.

Gov. Doug Ducey on May 31 issued a statewide Declaration of Emergency, which included putting in place a curfew from 8 p.m.-5 a.m. May 31 through June 8 in response to protests, some turning violent, across the nation of George Floyd’s death while in police custody in Minneapolis.

“In order to comply with the governor’s curfew order, we’ve worked with staff across the organization from the police department to parks and recreation and the mayor to ensure that we are doing everything we can to make safety in Gilbert our priority,” Gilbert Town Manager Patrick Banger said through email.

Public meetings

Gilbert public meetings had been closed since mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic, with the public invited to watch and participate through remote conferencing. The meetings were scheduled to be reopened this week as part of phase two of reopenings until the curfew declaration intervened.

Meetings affected by this week’s curfew include Town Council on June 2 and the Gilbert Planning Commission on June 3. The public can still view the meetings online at or on Cox Cable Channel 11.

The council items being tabled include the 2021-30 Capital Improvement Plan, the secondary property tax levy and the final budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21. The items now will be taken up June 16.

Programming effects

Other programs, mostly through Parks and Recreation, also will be affected this week. This includes:

  • The SanTan Drive-In Movie events June 5-6 are canceled. Refunds have been processed.

  • The Heritage District parking garages will close overnight starting at 8 p.m.

  • Gilbert parks, Freestone Recreation Center, McQueen Park Activity Center and Cactus Yards will close at 7 p.m.

  • Adult Softball League at Freestone Park will be canceled this week.

  • The Southeast Regional Library will close at 5 p.m.

  • All rentals—fields, courts, ramadas, rooms, open spaces, camp sites—will not run past 7 p.m. Users will be notified.

No protests in Gilbert

While Arizona has seen some protests, Gilbert has not. Social media rumors of coming protests in town proved unfounded on the curfew’s first night May 31.

The Gilbert Police Department issued a statement May 31 saying it was fully staffed and ready to respond if issues arose.

“We are monitoring the messages being posted for potential protests/riots, and we appreciate the community keeping us updated with anything they are seeing as well,” the statement read. “At this time, there is no confirmed information for any organized gatherings in Gilbert, however, we are taking proactive measures to have additional staffing in place should it be needed.”

Gilbert Police Department spokesperson Brenda Carrasco said officers will patrol throughout the town June 1 with close attention paid to the Heritage District and SanTan Village.
By Tom Blodgett
Raised in Arizona, Tom Blodgett has spent 30 years in journalism in Arizona and is the editor of the Gilbert edition of Community Impact Newspaper. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, where he now serves as an instructional professional in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and editorial adviser to The State Press, the university's independent student media outlet.


Higley USD
Thomason announces spring retirement as Higley USD superintendent, board hears remote learning plans

Saying his heart will always be with Higley USD, Mike Thomason announced plans to retire as the school district’s superintendent this spring at the July 15 governing board meeting

face mask requirements
Gilbert will let mask order expire, but county’s regulation stays in place

The town of Gilbert’s face mask order will be allowed to expire at 5 p.m. July 19, but residents must still stay covered under Maricopa County’s regulation.

Prescribed Health and Beauty opens in Gilbert

Dr. Leila King Peterson serves patients of all ages with comprehensive health care

Walmart and Sam's Club leaders announced in a press release July 15 all stores nationwide will require shoppers to wear a face covering beginning July 20. (Courtesy Walmart)
UPDATED: Kroger joins Walmart, Sam's Club in requiring face coverings in all stores

Additionally, all Walmart stores will have a single entrance beginning July 20.

WoodBarn BBQ
WoodBarn BBQ food truck opens brick-and-mortar restaurant near Gilbert

WoodBarn BBQ opened April 24 for takeout and delivery and now has dine-in across the Power Road border from Gilbert in Queen Creek

Cryoshift Cryotherapy opens in Gilbert

The boutique wellness center has whole-body and local cryotherapy

Here are the coronavirus hospitalization data updates to know across Arizona. (Community Impact staff)
COVID-19: See the data behind the rising number of coronavirus hospitalizations across Arizona

Here is a breakdown of what COVID-19 hospitalizations look like across Arizona.