As an elected official I know we have all learned a lot during this Pandemic. The fear and panic of March gave way to daily emergency operations updates and weekly town halls. From afar, it appeared as if we changed our minds constantly and didn’t know what we were doing. It was true.
As Local elected officials we have the latitude to ask deep questions and the ability to receive answers daily quickly. Those who wrote this bill appear to be disconnected from that source of knowledge. We were briefed on OSHA standards, employee policies and requirements-all meant to ensure we did not have a knee jerk reaction and legislate myopically.
This bill does not follow standard and definitions at the federal level nor consider the impact on small businesses. Mandating businesses to do things never takes in consideration their business model and may have no impact on containing the emergency-which is the intended impact.
I honor the compassion this bill started with and suggest some of the language be re considered as it conflicts with OSHA and employee standards. Businesses will thrive or be ignored in this environment as people will not go where they perceive poor standards are being followed. In the world of instant responses, mask and sanitation missteps are quickly communicated and close down a business. Let’s let the people drive the business success or failure, not an intentionally bureaucratic organization whose laws are costly to implement, costly to enforce, and overburden smart thinking residents. They are informed.
The Honorable Cindy Shelton
Stafford County Board of Supervisors