Supervisor Jim Desmond

Supervisor Desmond: Vote to Appeal Judge's Ruling on Dining Was to Save Outdoor Dining

Since the pandemic began, Supervisor Jim Desmond has been very clear -- he wants businesses to be open.

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When Southern California's ICU capacity dipped below 15%, Gov. Gavin Newsom shut down all dining at restaurants in our region.

Last week, a judge ruled that dining could resume, but shortly after, a court of appeals issued a stay that allowed the state to continue to enforce restrictions on restaurants while it decided if it would reverse the judge's ruling.

The state initially initiated the appeals process, but the County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Friday to back the state in the appeal -- but only for the indoor-dining element of the judge's ruling.

"I’m a reasonable, compromising guy, and I know that’s how things get done, and if I can get outdoor dining -- I don’t get the whole package -- I’ll start with pieces of it, so that’s politics," County Supervisor Jim Desmond told NBC 7 on Tuesday.

Desmond said he voted with the other supervisors because he was trying to save outdoor dining.

"I looked at that as a victory, as a potential win," Desmond said. "At least the restaurants can stay open -- at least outdoors -- instead of appealing the whole thing, so that was why ... I changed my vote on that. "It looked like it was mysterious, I guess to some people, or a little bit different. I was looking to try to keep the outdoor dining."

Desmond says he still thinks that indoor dining is safe at 25% capacity and wants to emphasize to his small business owner constituents that he is not calling for them to defy the public health order.

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