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Brand ‘Surprised’ by County’s Objection to Shelter-in-Place Extension

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At his news conference Tuesday evening, Fresno Mayor Lee Brand expressed surprise that Fresno County officials objected to his extension of the city’s shelter-in-place through May 31.

“This was a complete surprise to me and everybody else. And I simply don’t understand it,” Brand said. “We have to work as partners in this deal for us to go forward and higher levels of risk, we need the county to have the metrics there, and at this point in time, they don’t seem to be there. We’re hoping they will get there. We’ve offered our help on this.”

Brand extended the order until the end of the month in an announcement last Friday. It was the third time the city pushed back an open date.

At the same news conference, Brand announced that retail stores in Fresno can resume operations at some level starting next Monday.

County: Fresno Should End Shelter in Place

The county issued a news release more than an hour before Brand spoke, specifically mentioning Fresno’s shelter extension.

“Our community has enough to consider as we work through this pandemic without having to add another layer of bureaucracy. We hope the city of Fresno will consider canceling its stay-at-home order so that we may all move forward in this recovery together,” Fresno County Supervisor Buddy Mendes said.

The county never issued a shelter-in-place order, saying it abides by the state directive.

Fresno County Administrative Officer Jean Rousseau shared the same thoughts during his weekly media teleconference Tuesday.

“Quite frankly, we’d like to see the city of Fresno change its order to be in compliance with the state. It would make it a lot easier for all of us,” Rousseau said.

Brand said in meetings on Monday and as recently as 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Mendes and Supervisor Nathan Magsig expressed no objection.

“I don’t know what happened between yesterday and today,” Brand said.

Fresno’s order applies only to the city limits. Neighboring Clovis voted on Monday to lift some of its restrictions and plans to let businesses reopen in accordance with state guidelines on Friday.

Arias: We Save Lives

Council President Miguel Arias defended Brand’s extension of shelter-place to the month’s end.

“First, and most importantly, (the shelter order) saved lives so that we don’t have to have the death rates of our neighbors in Tulare County,” Arias said. “Secondly, it allowed us to maintain local control. Some would prefer that we shift the responsibility in the decisions to Sacramento so that they can simply blame Sacramento for all failures and protect themselves from any scrutiny. We chose to lead instead.”

Arias called the shelter extension and the plan to reopen commerce “in the best interest of our city.”

 

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email