Big Rick Stuart
Mill Valley officials call for outdoor dining exemption
Mill Valley is the first municipality in California to seek an exemption from the outdoor dining ban under Gov. Gavin Newsom's stay-at-home order designed to curb spread of the coronavirus.
The Mill Valley City Council approved two letters calling on Newsom and county health officials for the exemption, according to the Marin Independent Journal.
"We share the concern for the health of our community, and therefore cannot ignore that the Stay Home Order has caused the Mill Valley restaurant community to suffer devastating economic impacts by being limited to take-out service only," reads one of the letters. "Our local restaurant employees are facing tremendous financial strain, experiencing lay-offs, reduced hours and struggling to provide for their families.
"In an effort to avoid further decimation of this critical local business sector, we ask that you exempt outdoor dining in any further extension of the current Stay Home Order, to lessen the harmful economic impact of the current restrictions."
“There’s no scientific evidence indicating that there is greater risk from outdoor dining,” (Mill Valley Mayor) McEntee said. “There are already protocols in place. There were some suggestions that if the governor doesn’t want to reinstate outdoor dining as is, that there could be some further constrictions in how that is performed. But they should be all science-based, based on current data, current research. But, yes, all of this is not protecting the most vulnerable and is widening the inequality gap in a number of different ways.”