Oceanside councilman says call to reopen is about city’s economic health

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OCEANSIDE, Calif. – An Oceanside city councilman is advocating for businesses to reopen ahead of schedule, even if it means violating public health orders.

Councilman Christopher Rodriguez made a splash on social media over the weekend with a Facebook calling for non-essential businesses to reopen ⁠— a move that would violate current public health orders.

Rodriguez’s stance drew both praise and criticism online, and prompted a response from the city’s mayor, Peter Weiss.

“The Oceanside City Council did vote to open all businesses as soon as possible,” Weiss said in a statement. “However, the latest County Health Order limits business openings. Neither the City Council, nor individual Councilmembers have the authority to direct any business to violate the County Orders.”

Rodriguez said he understands the mayor’s stance. He agrees on the importance of protecting public health, but also remains concerned about the economic health of Oceanside’s many businesses that have not been given the go-ahead by state and local officials to reopen.

“The No. 1 conversation I have on a daily basis — either with an unemployed resident or a small business owner — is, ‘I can not go on any longer. I don’t want government checks, I want to go back to work, I want to provide for my family,'” he said.

Weiss said in his statement the Oceanside Police Department will ensure health orders are being followed, and that businesses failing to comply will be met with enforcement.

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