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DILAN SWIFT, San Clemente

Relationships between citizens and government are girded by trust. Citizens trust officials to lead and implement policy based on consensus, common sense, and in all residents’ best interests. 

Officials trust citizens to make safe and responsible decisions while adhering to the law. Thank you, Gov. Newsom and OC Sheriff Barnes, for reminding us of the importance of trust as we navigate this pandemic.

Despite recent personal “mistakes” in violating his own policies, Gov. Newsom reinstated lockdown criteria. This month, our county entered lockdown after ICU availability in the Southern California region dropped below 15%. 

Furthermore, the governor has threatened to withhold state and federal funding from counties that refuse to use law enforcement to enforce these regulations. Sadly, this new shutdown will be the death knell for many of our small businesses that faithfully adhered to regulations thus far.

Slowing the spread is universally supported, but using law enforcement to impose this new set of restrictions, as Gov. Newsom expects, is spurious and erodes trust between our citizens and elected officials.

OC Sheriff Barnes has taken a bold stand against this nonsense. I encourage readers of this newspaper to read the sheriff’s recent Dec. 5 press release for an example of community trust building. 

What our governor has shown us is a lack of trust to make health decisions for our families and community. Conversely, Sheriff Barnes has committed to working in a positive way to build trust and enable residents and small businesses to do their best in this trying time.

While we work on building trust at the local level with level-headed officials like Sheriff Barnes, I trust the governor to continue to enjoy his generous taxpayer-provided salary and secure government job as our small businesses continue to face financial calamity. 

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