Image: Montgomery County Emergency Management Executive Director Jason Millsaps, who very badly needs a haircut as a result of the forced government closure of barber shops and hair salons, spoke to the Montgomery County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Conroe, April 30 – After six weeks of devastatingly destructive orders closing businesses, ordering people to stay in their homes, and imposing the most severe regulations without any seeming legal authority or constitutional right to do so, the Montgomery County Commissioners Court expressed concerns about their negative impact on the local economy during the Tuesday, April 28, 2020, meeting.
Precinct 3 Montgomery County Commissioner James Noack said, “My intent was to flatten the curve [of Chinese Coronavirus illnesses], not flatten the economy.” Noack explained, “”The citizens of Montgomery County and the business owners have been extremely impacted by COVID-19 and the coronavirus…We all worked very well together to put orders together to flatten the curve and make sure Montgomery County hospitals were not overburdened…The reason I was so supportive of these orders initially is that we received…information…that hospitals would be overrun. None of that’s happened. We were going to have a million people die in the US but it’s 60,000 or something…It’s absurd that you can sit in a dentist chair but you can’t get a haircut.”
Jason Millsaps, Emergency Management Executive Director, told the Commissioners Court “we’re in the process of reopening.”
Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador said, “I agree with you that those small places are struggling to survive…I think hair salons can determine who comes in their place…It’s got to be a whole lot cleaner than going to Kroger’s.” Meador, who wore a face mask during the Commissioners Court meeting, clearly was very supportive of all efforts to reopen businesses in Montgomery County as quickly as possible.
Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough explained, “We’ve supported the Governor’s decisions…These particular orders [issued on Monday, April 27, 2020] where the Governor has chosen who should be winners and who should not be winners, they’re not enforceable.” Keough has made clear that he believes hair salons, tattoo parlors, gymnasiums, and bars have the right to reopen on Friday, May 1, under the Governor’s current executive order GA-18.
Montgomery County Attorney Griffin said that the County government doesn’t intend to enforce vague orders. Griffin also didn’t recommend that the Commissioners Court take any action.
Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley asked an important question: “If we open up a couple of barber shops in Magnolia, no one is going to come shut them down?”
Keough answered, “That’s correct.”
It’s unclear whether Texas Governor Greg Abbott will clarify his April 27 executive order to force the continued closure of hair salons and similar businesses.