NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA) — The city council for Newport Beach on Saturday voted to affirm its support for litigation filed by other cities seeking to reopen the Orange County coastline.
The move comes following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s mandate that all Orange County beaches remain closed this weekend.
Both Huntington Beach and Dana Point had filed suit, along with businesses in Newport Beach. In support of that effort, Newport Beach filed an amicus brief, providing declarations from the city manager and police and fire chiefs.
But on Friday, a judge denied the temporary restraining order being sought to prevent the closures, and set a hearing for two weeks in the matter.
“We fully support the effort to get our beaches back open,” said Mayor Will O’Neill of Newport Beach. “We are disappointed in the outcome, but we will keep working to get these beaches back open.”
O’Neill stressed that he did not believe the data supports the closure. In Newport Beach, he indicated that the city has sustained 50 casualties as a result of the virus, which is less than that of San Diego County which has kept its beaches open.
O’Neill indicated that Newport Beach had a plan in place for this weekend that related to staffing up, and better traffic management, but he added that they weren’t able to put that plan into practice, as a result of the Governor’s mandate.
“We know this Governor has talked quite a bit about wanting to make sure he’s putting data over politics,” the mayor said. “If he needs more data, we’ll be happy to provide him with more data and we’re going to. And we hope he’ll reverse his decision after he sees what our law enforcement personnel have done. I trust our law enforcement. I’m sure our Governor will once he sees it too.”