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Lynchburg curfew to end Tuesday night

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Published: Jun. 9, 2020 at 6:53 PM EDT
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UPDATE:

Lynchburg City will not continue the curfew. It will expire Tuesday night as planned.

EARLIER STORY:

City hall - it's where Lynchburg City Council will meet Tuesday evening to discuss the curfew ordinance, which was enacted last week.

Following a special meeting last Wednesday, it was adjusted to expire Tuesday night.

But with it back on the agenda, city leaders are reacting ahead of any potential decisions by council.

"I would be totally opposed for them having to extend it from any facet, any longer, because that's not what we're supposed to do as elected representatives to the citizens," said Jeff Helgeson, Ward III representative.

Helgeson is a member of city council.

He says the curfew came too quick and made for policies that could hurt things such as businesses or those who walk their dog at night.

"At the drop of a hat an executive could say everything is closed at 8 p.m. tonight," said Helgeson. "Wielding that power is not what we're supposed to do."

Lynchburg City Manager Bonnie Svrcek says that she also thinks it was adopted quickly, but because of the need to enforce it.

"I will say they did adopt the ordinance rather quickly because we did not have one on the books and we needed the ordinance for the police department and partners to enforce the curfew," said Svrcek.

She also says she wants it to stay on the books, but only for use under special circumstances.

"I also believe that it should only be used in the most extraordinary of circumstances with a discussion with the key stakeholders, in this instance the police chief," said Svrcek.

But for Helgeson, he says the curfew could hurt those who obey the law.

"We represent the citizens," said Helgeson. "We don't delegate that authority to an un-elected bureaucrat that can say we're going to punish 82,000 and require them to stay home - not a chance."

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