With two aldermen abstaining from voting, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen extended its COVID restrictions within the city limits.
Aldermen Sir Johnathan Rucker and Elizabeth Thomas abstained from the council’s action to prohibit gatherings of ten or more people, closing bars and limited access to restaurants due to COVID.
Thomas sparked a discussion of allowing event centers to operate within the city. She said some event centers can have up to eight people and still maintain the required capacity within its building.
“These people are business owners, and they are still having to pay their rent, their light bills and everything else,” Thomas said. “The event centers are just like a restaurant. You have got to give people some responsibility of their own. For seven months, people have been paying bills. Event centers cannot function (now), and I think that they need to come out of this order.”
Mayor Diane Delaware said event center owners had the opportunity to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program and other financial programs.
“We should be careful what we do right now and not be Quick Draw McGraw,” Delaware said. “We have done well in Yazoo City. Our cases have gone down. Our financials are fine. I don’t know why a person with an event center hasn’t completed the documents for (programs) unless they did not have any books to do it with.”
Delaware said she cannot speak for capacity limitations within event centers because she has not been inside one since last March.
“I haven’t been going to any event centers because I am the mayor, and it is against the rules,” Delaware said, to Thomas. “I haven’t been in any event centers since March because our rules say we can’t be in one. Only you or those who have been inside them, disobeying the law, would know the answer to that.”
“You went to them…the day you went out to C-Squared (Event Center),” replied Thomas.
“I did not tell anybody that they would have to close,” Delaware said. “I did not do that. That is not true. I was going to Walgreens. I have not done such a thing. That did not occur.”
Alderman Andre Lloyd said he had an issue with allowing event centers to operate.
“If we open the event center, the club owners are coming next,” he said.