Mike Restuccia isn’t too thrilled with the leadership of California.
Speaking on behalf of himself as a private citizen at last Tuesday’s Ripon City Council meeting, the elected leader questioned Gov. Gavin Newsom and the regional stay-at-home orders amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Governor can eat inside at the French Laundry, but we need to shut down outside dining, per the CDC – outside dining has not been proven to spread the disease,” said Restuccia, referencing the Nov. 6 event of Newsom and his wife, Jennifer, attending the 50th birthday party for political consultant and lobbyist Jason Kinney.
The supplemental order enacted this past week prohibits private gatherings of any size, closure of bars and indoor gym activities, and takeout-only for restaurants – this will be assessed on a weekly basis after the initial three-week period.
Restuccia is concerned about the survival of local businesses.
“Where’s the science to shutting down outside dining,” he asked.
Restuccia added that there’s no denying that people have to be safe and smart – he’ll continue wearing a mask when he’s out and about and is pleased that others are doing likewise.
Still, he doesn’t understand why it’s a no-no to gather in big crowds given that large retailers such as Costco, Home Depot, and Lowe’s along with liquor stores are allowed to stay open.
Restuccia added: “Is this because they have strong lobbyists or is it because they generate sales tax?”
His displeasure is with the top leadership role in the state.
“Newsom is the so-called leader of the State (and) is responsible for the lack of the number of (ICU) beds. If he were a good leader, we would have the infrastructure in place to take care of this, as we were warned by Bill Gates and Dr. (Anthony) Fauci. But he preferred to make it hard for businesses to survive in California and run a large population out of the state for more competent leadership,” said Restuccia, who believes the City of Ripon should partner with other cities and counties in the state by fighting back.
“Otherwise, we’re no better than our so-called leaders – we need to stand up for our people and not just apply for a band aid,” he said in reference to the Small Business Assistance Grant Program Phase 2 approved that evening for qualified local businesses to receive $3,000 to cover rent, mortgage, utilities or payroll during these tough economic times.
Mayor Daniel de Graaf believes that his colleague’s comments were relevant.
“It’s unfortunate that we have to give businesses money to survive. Everyone is struggling and the Governor and the State is making it harder and harder for businesses to make it,” he said.