OCEANSIDE, Calif. — An Oceanside city councilman was admonished by the city's mayor for urging nonessential businesses and houses of worship to violate COVID-19 protocols by reopening ahead of schedule and asking residents to disregard county- and state-mandated regulations by patronizing them.
"I'm convinced that the constitutional rights of Oceanside residents and businesses have been trampled upon and I choose to take a stand," Councilman Christopher Rodriguez wrote in a statement. "If your business has been labeled 'nonessential' and you share my convictions, then I encourage you to open immediately and to please follow all social-distancing, face mask and sterilization protocols that essential businesses and employees are currently following."
Rodriguez called on the city's residents "to safely patronize and support these businesses," and he called for "nonprofits to serve again, and houses of worship to worship again."
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Oceanside Mayor Peter Weiss responded Saturday, saying Rodriguez was merely expressing his personal views, and did do not reflect the official position of the city, which is adhering to the latest San Diego County Health Officer's orders allowing retail stores to reopen with curbside and delivery service only.
"The Oceanside City Council did vote to open all businesses as soon as possible, however, the latest [San Diego] County health order limits business openings," Weiss said. "Neither the city council nor individual council members have the authority to direct any business to violate the county orders."
He also warned that the city's police department would enforce the health order.