City Commissioners try to strike down Mayor Mahoney’s Covid-19 order
The order now limits occupancy for bars and restaurants to 50% and up 150 people. It also works to accommodate attendance sizes with places of worship.
FARGO, N.D. — The coronavirus surge in North Dakota is among the worst in the U.S.
Cass County is playing a big part.
“The cases in the state as well as Cass County continue to increase on a weekly basis,” said Mayor Dr. Tim Mahoney. “Cass County has 1,562 active cases. One of our highest yet.”
In Fargo, Mayor Mahoney has changed an emergency order to reflect the executive order done by the state that limits the occupancy to 50% capacity and up to 150 people for bars and restaurants.
The altered order also makes an effort to accommodate with places of worship by connecting them with Fargo Cass Public Health’s business response team. They will work with the religious settings to customize their occupancy numbers.
“Some of the churches have occupancy of 1,000, if you went 50% that would be 500,” said Mahoney. “If you work with us, we will try to customize what works best for you.”
Mayor Mahoney used his emergency executive powers to issue this order. He brought it up to be discussed by the City Commission.
Not all were happy with the order or how it was created.
“I have no idea what is going on with these declarations. I am not involved at all,” said commissioner Dave Piepkorn. “The emergency declaration started in 2009 for a flood when we had to take action immediately, but now we’re just getting declarations left and right. I think emergency declarations need to end otherwise it is just a boy who cries wolf.”
“We need to get back to normal government where five commissioners debate, decide on the issues and then we have to answer to the people who voted us in,” said Commissioner Tony Gehrig. “Not one man. Not the man who is crowned king for a day. I won’t be an elected standbyer quite frankly. I move the City Commission end Fargo’s emergency declaration effective immediately.”
The commission voted on ending the order, but the results were 3-2 in favor of keeping it.
Commissioners Piepkorn and Gehrig claim they read about the order in the newspaper, rather than Mayor Mahoney addressing it with them. Mahoney says he emailed each commissioner about the order before it was released.