A mayor in Greater Minnesota called for immediately reopening businesses in his region in a letter sent Monday to Gov. Tim Walz.
Cambridge Mayor James Godfrey pointed to the “significant difference” in the spread of the coronavirus in rural Minnesota compared to the Metro area. Cambridge is located in Isanti County, which had just 20 confirmed cases and zero deaths as of Wednesday.
“The City Council of the City of Cambridge has been very patient with your decisions in this regard, but with each subsequent extension of your order, it is increasingly difficult to see our small businesses wither on the vine. It’s clear some may not survive another extension and there is extreme anxiety/frustration in our business community,” Godfrey wrote in his letter.
He said some business owners want to reopen despite the governor’s executive orders and said they “clearly are desperate.”
“We have heard talk regarding what many believe is an unconstitutional seizure of their respective businesses,” he continued.
The Cambridge City Council voted in favor of sending the letter to Walz during a recent meeting. According to Godfrey, the council is “convinced that we need to do whatever we can to get these businesses open again.”
“I hope you will regard small businesses in Greater Minnesota to the same extent you regard Metro area businesses,” said Godfrey. “Our citizens will be able to determine where they can safely go. Our businesses will do everything they can to ensure their place of business is safely operated.”
Godfrey concluded his letter by asking Walz to “open all businesses in our region immediately.”
Republican lawmakers have repeatedly criticized the governor for what they believe is a one-size-fits-all response to the pandemic. Republican Senate candidate Jason Lewis took things a step further Tuesday by suing Gov. Walz over his stay-at-home order, marking at least the third legal challenge to the governor’s executive actions.
Under the governor’s “Stay Safe Minnesota” order, bars, restaurants, and salons aren’t allowed to reopen until June 1, when they can operate in a limited capacity.
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