They wants Frederick County to follow the Governor’s order issued last week.
Frederick, Md (KM). A group of business people are trying to persuade Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor to allow restaurants to keep their indoor dining areas open past 10:00 PM. During a recent appearance on WFMD’s “Morning News Express,” Danny Farrar with the Bear the Burden Coalition said he wants to hold a conference call with the Mayor to get him to lift this restriction. It would also include Brett Hess, Josh Funk and Dan Caiola..
“Those extra couple hours make a different. They make a difference for the bar owner. They make a big difference for the people that work in the industry. That industry’s employees have been absolutely crushed,” says Farrar.
Governor Larry Hogan, a few weeks ago, issued an executive order requiring all restaurants and bars in Maryland to close their indoor dining facilities by 10:00 PM as a way to curb infections from COVID-19.. They could continue pickup and delivery services. Last week, the Governor lifted that order, and said restaurants and bars could keep their indoor dining facilities open past 10:00 PM.
The Governor has said local governments have the option of continuing more restrictive orders if their jurisdictions still have higher numbers of COVID-19 cases. In this instance, County Executive Jan Gardner says the 10:00 PM closure for restaurants will continue for two weeks due to the increasing number of local coronavirus cases. But she says she will revisit that decision within that two-week period.
Meanwhile, the Mayors of Brunswick and New Market are going along with the Governor’s recent order, and are allowing restaurants within their corporate limits to stay open past 10:00 PM.
Farrar says he and other business people want Mayor O’Connor to do the same thing. If not, They will “organize protests at the capital; contact the news stations, and begin civil disobedience,” according to a flyer from the Bear the Burden Coalition.
Farrar says business owners do take the pandemic seriously, and are going out of their way to protect their customers and employees from contracting COVID-19.
He says keeping the 10:00 PM restriction in place could put the city of Frederick at a disadvantage. “If somebody can’t go drink in a bar in downtown Frederick, but they can go drink at a bar in New Market, where they do think they’re doing,” Farrar asked. “They’re going to those municipalities that are allowing the business owner their God-given right to pursue their dream and actually try to put food on their families’ table.”
WFMD News has reached out to Mayor O’Connor for comment.
By Kevin McManus