Residents Defeat Reprise of San Bernardino County, California, Covid-19 Ordinance

by Dan Titus, October 29, 2020

Business owners and people in San Bernardino County, California need to know that there are people fighting to protect their Constitutional rights – and winning.

Activists have been protesting the County’s Covid-19 guidelines and recommendations. There has been considerable push back on this issue by this author via website and activist organizations in the Inland Empire, including: The Victor Valley Freedom Campaign, Stand Up San Bernardino County, Banning-Beaumont-Cherry Valley Tea Party and America First Latinos.

Kristie Sepulveda-Burchit with, Stand Up San Bernardino County, stated, “Our goal for the future is to get the county open without onerous restrictions. We go to the board meetings and speak out to educate board members and the public putting the truth on the record with facts over fear. We want our elected leaders to be held to account.” In testimony to the board she stated:

“San Bernardino County should look at other counties in this state that are standing up and speaking out; for instance, Placer County who ended their public health emergency.  A Governor can declare a public health emergency but at some point, nearing the first 30 day period expiration, the legislature is supposed to take action. Here we are going on seven months, and still the Governor is able to declare a public health emergency. So too is this body responsible as you continue to renew the public health emergency in this county every 30 days. Goal posts continue to move to, which keep people in endless fear.”

Activists at a board meeting rally the morning of October 27, 2020

There has been push back on opening up the County from Covid-19 restrictions for the past few months. I’ve addressed some of the issues in articles overtime. I provide some context in my article, dated August 1, 2020, August 1, 2020, San Bernardino County, California: Residents Stave Off $5000 per Day COVID-19 Fines. A derivative version of the ordinance appeared for the September 29, 2020 board meeting. Item 82, Ordinance to Inforce Covid, stated:

Consider  proposed  ordinance  relating  to  enforcement  of  COVID-19  public  health  orders, declaring violations of orders of the State or County Health Officer related to COVID-19 to be unlawful and a public nuisance and authorizing the issuance of administrative citations.2. Make alterations, if necessary, to proposed ordinance. 3.Approve introduction of the proposed ordinance.4.Read title only of proposed ordinance, waive reading of the entire text, and SCHEDULE FOR  FINAL  ADOPTION  ON  TUESDAY,  OCTOBER  6,  2020 on  the  Consent  Calendar. (Presenter: Gary McBride, Chief Executive Officer, 387-5417)

It was decided by County Supervisors to list item 82 as a continuation item for the October 27th 2020 board meeting. County staff was instructed to return the item because some objections to the text by Supervisors. Therefore, it was expected to be “red-lined edited”, modified, and 1. Returned for a final vote, – or as activists anticipated – 2. Pushed to another future date, or 3. Dropped all together.

I contacted San Bernardino County, California Supervisor Curt Hagman on October 21, 2020 and asked if a modified version of a Covid-19 enforcement ordinance going to be on the October 27, 2020 board meeting agenda. He stated, “No. I pulled it. It may appear if it was continued but we’re not doing it.” He confirmed that the board would not be moving forward and that the ordinance was “moot”. He further stated, “it would be announced at the beginning of the board meeting for 10-27-2020.”

As confirmed by Supervisor Hagman, the board took the ordinance off calendar the morning of the October 27, 2020 meeting.