Council to hold special meeting on Monday, may add barbershops, hair and nail salons and flower shops to essential business list

The Taft City Council called a special meeting for next Monday to discusses getting some of Taft's small businesses open again.

The council will consider adding some businesses that are now closed by the state's emergency orders for the COVID-19 pandemic to the list of essential businesses in an effort to get them open and keep them from failing.

If the council acts, it will be the first in Kern County.

The meeting starts at 4:30 p.m.

The meeting will be closed to the public but carried online on the city's You Tube channel

Mayor Dave Noerr raised the issue at the April council meeting.

He said he spoke with medical providers both here in Taft and in Bakersfield that day and was told the surge of patients that had been feared has not happened.

"That rush has not materialized like we feared it would," he said, noting that he had been told the more than 50 percent of the hospital beds in Bakersfield are still available and there are plenty of test kits in the area.

He said he thinks its time to consider opening some of the businesses here.

"When are we going to be able to get...our businesses opened up?" he asked. "We can start putting people back to work in our community. If not, we will be responsible for the demise of our small businesses."

The special meeting agenda says this:

" is the intent of the Council, to expand the essential business list for Taft to include, but not limited to barbers, hair and nail salons, and flower shops. This is the first step the Council plans to take to start to return some normalcy to our city and economic recovery to some of our small, more helpless businesses. "

Social distancing and PPE personal protective equipment guidelines will still apply.

Public comments are being sought for council consideration. 

People who want to speak on the issue can make arrangements by calling City Clerk Yvette Mayfield by 4 p.m Tuesday.

To speak via telephone at the meeting, you must:

•Provide a contact phone number. 

• Be available during the meeting times of 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

• You will be contacted at the phone number provided and placed on speaker to address the Council during the meeting time. 

Those who wish to comment in writing must submit comments by 4 p.m. Monday.

Written comments may be dropped off in the drop box in front of City Hall.