Board of Supervisors Votes 4-1 to Coordinate Next Steps of Reopening; Fletcher Only Dissenting Vote

Written by Michael Palomba 

On Tuesday, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to send a letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom requesting additional allowance and guidance for continued reopening. Supervisor Nathan Fletcher was the only dissenting vote, per usual. The decision comes after the county slowed down its reopening prospects due to an increase in community outbreaks.

The board heard from dozens of desperate business owners before the vote. “Our industry is struggling to survive. There are people still wanting to celebrate these events, which is leading to bootleg events,” said one caller who works in the event industry.

Business owners aren’t the only group suffering, however. “I’ve had to push my wedding back twice this year and have lost thousands of dollars due to the uncertainty of when private events will be allowed,” said Rachel Lee.

Unfortunately, the struggles that thousands of people are facing don’t seem to interest Supervisor Fletcher. The recent vote does not even reopen more businesses early, it simply allows the county to coordinate with the state and receive guidance on how to proceed. However, Fletcher still voted against the proposal, making it appear like he wants San Diego to remain closed indefinitely. 

Supervisor Jim Desmond, who has been at the forefront of the push to reopen San Diego, made a statement following the bills passing:

“Today, my motion to push for state guidance to open more businesses and activities was passed by a 4-1 vote. We will send a letter to Gov. Newsom on behalf of the Board of Supervisors,” said Desmond. “This requests local control, for our public health officials to control reopening as safe and appropriate.”

Fletcher claimed that proposing more reopening is “reckless and irresponsible,” despite the fact that peoples’ livelihoods literally depend on the economy reopening.

What is more reckless and irresponsible is keeping the economy shuttered with no end in sight. Unemployment is still extremely high and the last government stimulus check came nearly two months ago. Struggling families and individuals throughout the county need to get back to work, but Fletcher refuses to acknowledge that. 

Countless people have been unable to find work as a result of government-imposed lockdowns. Furthermore, CDC data show that the majority of people who succumb to the coronavirus are 65 years of age or older. 

While it’s unequivocally important that we protect the elderly, we do not need to shut down the economy and force the entire county into isolation to do so. Our elders can practice increased caution and restrictions—by their own free will—while the rest of the population continues to work. Of course, everyone should continue to practice social distancing and mitigation techniques, but the forced lockdown needs to come to an end. 

Supervisors Jim Desmond and Kristin Gaspar deserve a huge amount of credit for pushing us forward on the path to normalcy. From the beginning, they have been vocal proponents of reopening and have worked tirelessly to get us there safely.


Photo via Flickr