A meeting was held Monday, Dec. 28 at Zim’s Brau Haus in The Dalles to discuss businesses around the state planning to open for on-premises business on Jan. 1, defying the governor’s mandate.

The first speaker was Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam, who has vocally supported movements like “Open Oregon.” Pulliam has recently promoted a coalition of businesses opening on New Year’s at events and on social media.

“What we’re talking about doing is opening up safely, and in a way that — if we can get the governor to shift and change course — gets us back into compliance and legality immediately,” Pulliam said.

The Dalles Mayor Rich Mays said around 60 people attended the meeting. He said attendees, himself included, felt that the state’s restrictions on “extreme risk” counties like Wasco County disproportionately impact restaurants, bars and fitness businesses.

Mays said he does not condone businesses disobeying the governor’s executive order, but he does support the cause and thinks businesses should be allowed to open. He said he believes the restrictions on these businesses in “high” risk counties would be adequate in Wasco County.

“It was kind of sad actually,” Mays said. “All these business owners are afraid to open and they’re afraid not to open.”

Mays said Last Stop Saloon owner Todd Carpenter “presided” over the meeting. City Councilor Rod Runyon was also in attendance, though he did not speak.

Pulliam’s speech was livestreamed on Vimeo. Carpenter and Runyon could not be reached for comment.

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