'Sooner or later the governor's going to have to trust us to do what's right,' city manager says
The City of Taft doesn't intend to defy state law or Kern County's health order, but it was to continue to advocate for cities and counties not significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to have the right to reopen businesses.
"There's no defiance," City Manager Craig Jones. "We're trying to advocate some kind of change, but to do it the right way."
But that doesn't mean a complete closure of all nonessential businesses in places like Taft can go on indefinitely.
"Sooner or later the governor's going to have to trust us to do what's right," Jones said.
Monday night, The Taft City Council voted to send letter to the Kern County Department of Health stating its intention to allow barber shops, beauty salons gyms and others businesses that were closed under Gov. Gavin Newsom's shelter-in place order to reopen while using appropriate safety measures.
The letter asked for the county's help to come up with the safety protocols and guidelines.
The county responded that the city was bound to comply with the state law and said Taft had keep nonessential businesses closed.
Joes said the city plans to continue to work with state Sen. Shannon Grove and others to push for flexibility for cities and counties that have avoided major impacts from coronavirus.
What's good for Los Angeles and other urban areas that have been hard hit by the pandemic isn's good for Taft and rural Kern County, Jones said.
In the meantime, Jones said, the city wants to work wth Kern County to look at some of the "gray areas of the law" to allow at least a few more businesses that are considered nonessential to open up.