City of Taft addresses reopening after State and County announcements to move forward

Posted at 8:18 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 23:18:53-04

TAFT, Calif. — "I believe in individual responsibility, I believe in individual decision making," stated Taft Mayor Dave Noerr during the Taft City Council meeting Tuesday.

The council addressed the possibility of moving closer to reopening after Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Kern County Board of Supervisors made announcements of moving further into Phase 2. During the Tuesday Board of Supervisors afternoon meeting, the county approved a resolution to apply to move further into reopening.

Mayor Noerr endorsed the governor's efforts to allow county and local officials more power when it comes to reopening their regions. However the mayor said he still does not agree with the governor's stance not to reopen churches.

"I believe it can be done in a very responsible safe manner," he said.

The mayor said individuals and local officials should be able to determine their ability to safely reopen businesses.

"Those of you who make decisions that you have to do certain things that at this point in time are not in-line in with the executive orders, I will tell you that I sympathize with you and I respect the decision that you make." said Noerr.

The council also took into account the decisions made Tuesday during the Kern County Board of Supervisors meeting. City Manager Craig Jones saying that the county is working on ways to expand business and restaurant reopening, but reminded the council that some businesses and establishments are state regulated.

"If we had the decision-making power, we could most certainly probably open everybody," said Jones. "But unfortunately we don't have that leniency."

Jones said though that once the county and the city get the go-ahead to begin reopening restaurants and retail stores, they will work quickly to assist business owners in reopening.

"I would ask if you're a restaurant owner and you have an idea how you can do that, go ahead and submit a plan," said Jones. "That way when we get the order you can go ahead and do it."