Other Supervisors Shoot Down Desmond's Proposal to Stop Enforcing State Reopening Plan

Supervisor Jim Desmond pitched his plan during Tuesday's County Board of Supervisors meeting

NBC Universal, Inc.

A point that has been argued between the public and local leaders since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic came to a head at Tuesday's San Diego County Board of Supervisors meeting.

Supervisor Jim Desmond proposed a plan that would have given individual businesses the option to ignore state-issued closures and capacity restrictions. Instead, the proposal would have let businesses and churches open their doors to everyone, and allowed restaurants to seat as many of their customers inside as they wanted, as long as face masks were worn.

"We cannot continue to keep segments of our economy shut down for some unkown indefinite amounts of time as determined by ever-changing metrics of the governor," Desmond said on Tuesday. "Now, the state's one-size-fits-all approach is stifling businesses."

The motion received no support from the other supervisors, however.

There were about 90 people who called into the meeting, though, many of them passionately supporting Desmond's proposal.

Fellow Supervisor Nathan Fletcher was just as passionately opposed to Desmond’s idea.

“What he's proposing would be catastrophic for our region, and the only way to demonstrate how bad it would be would be to let it happen," Fletcher said on Monday.

But, Fletcher does agree that he wants to avoid a repeat of June, when businesses reopened, then closed again, because of a corresponding surge in COVID-19 cases.

That could happen if San Diego County's case rate remains at 7 or above for one more week. But the board has asked the state to give special consideration to the county before shuttering businesses since a majority of those cases are coming from students at San Diego State University.

Because of those "productive conversations" between the county and the governor's office, Gaspar said she was also opposed to Desmond's proposal.

Supervisor Kristen Gaspar added that going against the state would only further hurt local businesses.

"Today’s motion by Supervisor Desmond was symbolic. It would not have changed a single thing for our local economy and instead would have put our businesses at increased risk of retribution from the State," Gaspar wrote in a statement following the vote.

Gaspar added that if the county and state can't reach an agreement on the region's case rate by next week -- which could cause more business closures -- she will "have no choice but to take more drastic action."

Right now, restaurants and churches can seat up to 25% of capacity (or 100 people at most), while gyms can allow up to 10% occupancy.

If San Diego County's case rate remains at the level it is now for one more week, the county will likely be moved into a more restrictive purple tier on the state's monitoring system, meaning more indoor business operations could once again shutter.

Click here to see a list of all commercial restrictions in San Diego County.

Contact Us