SLO County supervisors ask state to stop threatening businesses with closure

February 9, 2021

San Luis Obispo County supervisors Debbie Arnold and John Peschong sent a letter Monday to Gov. Gavin Newsom asking that the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control stop threatening to close local restaurants, bars and wineries for violating COVID-19 regulations unless the rules are supported by empirical data.

Arnold and Peschong’s letter:

“Dear Governor Newsom,

“It has come to our attention that the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has issued official warnings to many San Luis Obispo County businesses. These businesses are following the guidelines of the Governor’s emergency order including use of face coverings, sanitization, social distancing, and capacity restrictions. San Luis Obispo County encourages them to continue to exercise these safety protocols, but we must recognize the need for small business owners to resume operations to safeguard their livelihoods as well as the thousands of jobs they create.

“Under the governor’s emergency order, the restaurants, bars, wineries, breweries, and distilleries in our county need to be treated fairly and consistently. There is very little evidence that in-person service at these businesses is a significant contributor to the spread of COVID-19. Indeed, the Superior Court in Los Angeles County issued an injunction overturning the ban on outdoor eating for being arbitrary and not based on scientific evidence.

“The Governor’s Health Secretary also conceded there is no empirical basis for the ban. It is clear that the continued operation of such businesses is not a known threat to public health or safety, particularly those following safety protocols to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“According to the California Restaurant Association, an estimated 30-percent of California’s restaurants are at risk of closing permanently. Yelp data shows that 60-percent of businesses that were required to shutdown are closing permanently. To take administrative action against licensees now will only further damage the industry and destroy the jobs of 1.4 million Californians.

“Any enforcement effort against small businesses should be based on publicly available, scientific evidence that is consistently applied. These businesses and their employees have already suffered greatly as a result of COVID-19 restrictions and have worked to preserve their livelihoods while safely protecting their community. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. Please feel free to contact our office if you have any questions.”

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As a front line healthcare worker, it has been 2 weeks since I received my 2nd Covid-19 vaccine. I should now be 95% safe from getting Covid. My husband (also a healthcare worker and fully vaccinated) and I recently had dinner at Pappy McGregor’s in Paso (pictured above). We ate outside in a covered tent and I felt perfectly safe. Our tables were spaced 6 ft. apart from other patrons. Our servers wore masks and kept the time they were within 6 feet of us to just a few minutes. We wore masks until we were actually eating and drinking. The state needs to back off and allow businesses to stay in business and allow us to use our God given brain in making decisions about our own health and safety. People need to work and support their families! i started off giving Gov. Newsom the benefit of the doubt when the pandemic first started but I no longer have any faith in him as the leader of this state. He has to go!

When, or if, the choice is between my life (or the life of someone I love) and the financial success of some local business – I will always choose my life.

I am not a big fan of Newsome, but sometimes decisions have to be made that are the best for everyone – not just some. There is no doubt that several businesses have been significantly impacted by this virus and the compounded mis-management of it by all levels of government – but

some things are more important than the financial success of any given business.

Rules and proto calls need to be followed – for the good of all. It may be a shame that the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control need to be used to enforce these – but if there is no other method – so be it.

Now before I get all kinds of angry replies to this – some will just say that if I do not like what restaurants or bars are doing with respect to COVID – then I can choose not to go to any of these.

Correct – I have not went to any restaurant or bar in Paso for the past 10 months and I will most likely not do so for several more months. But I, as a citizen, do have the right to express my opinion.

What the state is doing is unconstitutional and I would advise that if the states henchmen continue to harass, that our small businesses, cities and county sue the state. Now with the real possibility of the governor being recalled, that may be enough for the state to back off their edicts and start following constitutional law again.


Yeah, that won’t happen.

I question the new County Logo on everything that appears to mark it’s boundaries, somewhat like the states do. The reality IS that “The County of San Luis Obispo” is Incorporated under the State of California as is each Incorporated subsets of this County like San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, Atascadero, Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach and Morro Bay.

Hopefully the governor will be gone soon.

Is this a drive to kill off a virus or a drive to kill off independent business?…