PENNSBURG, Pa. (CBS) — A bit of confusion was stirred in Montgomery County after a borough mayor announced her town would be the first in the county to reopen against Gov. Tom Wolf’s order. That drew a not-so-subtle response from the council president.
The borough of Pennsburg sits on the somewhat rural northern tip of Montgomery County.
In the 2010 census, the population was just under 4,000.
As of this week, Pennsburg has had a total of just three cases of COVID-19, according to Mayor Vicki Lightcap.
Following Tuesday’s borough meeting, Lightcap said in a statement, “I am proud of my council and their decision to join me in reopening Pennsburg. I am currently at work drafting a resolution that the council can vote on to memorialize our stance.”
Lightcap, who is running for state representative, wants Pennsburg to become the first town in Montgomery County to reopen despite Gov. Tom Wolf’s orders. The goal is to provide relief to shuttered small businesses.
But some took the mayor’s statement to mean that Pennsburg is now open for business.
To “clear up rumors,” Pennsburg Council President Diane Stevens released a statement.
“Pennsburg Council did NOT permit businesses to reopen that aren’t allowed under the Governor’s orders. Council DID give permission for Mayor Lightcap to come up with a resolution for us to consider at our next meeting on May 26. Believe me, I want all businesses to reopen and people to go back to work BUT the health, safety and welfare of all must be paramount. To act immediately without proper checks and balances in place is reckless,” Stevens said.
Stevens did add that she has reached out to county leadership to see if they might allow rural communities that fall below the CDC closing thresholds to reopen.
Pennsburg Council will officially vote on the mayor’s resolution to reopen their small businesses on May 26.