City council closes bars, restaurants now limited to take-out


Noah R. Mincheff, Opinion Editor

Mayor Keith W. Corbett opened the special city council meeting with an unorthodox verbal role call, as the majority of the Brookings council members were calling in remotely. 

Those in attendance maintained a 6-foot distance, and Corbett instructed them not to touch the microphones or podiums.

After approving the agenda and a brief open forum with no comments, City Manager Paul Briseno introduced ORD 20-005, an emergency ordinance to limit public accommodations and services in order to prevent community spread of COVID-19. 

These limitations include but are not limited to: closing bars, bowling alleys and restaurants, limiting the latter to delivery and takeout only. Retail stores selling essentials, healthcare facilities, and various other categories are exempt from this ordinance.

An amendment passed unanimously from Councilman Ope Niemeyer, adding salons and spas to the list of restricted facilities.

A resident, Bradley Walker, brought forth concerns about the 60 day duration of the ordinance, suggesting that this duration would keep many unemployed for an extended period.

Despite Mr. Walker’s concerns, the amended ordinance passed unanimously.

The next issue was Resolution 20-032, allowing City Manager Briseno to spend from an emergency reserve on necessary expenses such as contracting, replacing equipment, and maintaining social services.

The council quickly approved this resolution before adjourning the meeting. The next city council meeting is slated for April 7.