Racine Common Council votes to reinstate COVID-19 restrictions previously struck down
RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- In a 8-5 vote Monday, June 22, the Racine Common Council voted to reinstate all COVID-19 restrictions struck down on Friday, June 19.
The decision to reinstate restrictions came after an hour and a half of debate, and gives the health administrator the power to update the rules if needed.
Last Friday, a judge struck down COVID-19 prevention rules put in place by the health administrator after a local business sued the city.
The judge thought the administrator overstepped her authority.
Now, the council is voting to put those rules back in place, but this time as an ordinance passed by the entire council.
"While business owners look at this from one perspective, we have to look at this from many perspectives," said Alderman Jason Meekma. "I don't think this is the right thing for us right now."
“We weren’t supposed to be here in this position,” said Alderman John Tate II.
He says he would rather have COVID-19 prevention rules handled by medical experts, but the judges ruling made that impossible.
“It’s up to the Common Council to again re-empower our Public Health Administrator to make those decisions,” said Tate.
But not everyone supports the move.
“I don’t think this is the right thing for us right now,” said Alderman Henry Perez.
He is part of a group of council members who think the restrictions hurt local business.
“We’re hurting our community economically, we’re hurting our community morally, people are losing their businesses,” said Perez.
“We have to trust in our business owners to do the right thing to keep our customers safe, we trusted them enough to be part of our community, we can’t lose the trust now,” said Alderman Jeff Coe.
But other members say the decision should be made with resident’s health in mind.
“We need to look at what the science is telling us,” said Alderwoman Natalie Taft.
The ordinance would not only reinstate all the rules previously in place, and would also give the health administrator the power to change them if the pandemic numbers change.