Sacramento, California 2020-08-18 01:12:22 –
STOCKTON (CBS13) — Chelsey Kieffer is one of dozens of stylists at Pomp Salon breaking out the blow dryer and defying the state’s health order.
Kieffer says she has no other choice, even though she was recently diagnosed with lupus. She’s putting her health at risk, she says, to put food on the table for her family.
“We will do what we have to do,” Kieffer said.
Salon owner Dino Ballin supports her.
“This is literally an act of desperation,” he said.
He’s opening his salon doors with extra protocols in place. Even your feet get a bath before you hit the salon chair.
He said, “My stylists needed to get back to work they’ve been out of work five months of this year, and they’re failing and struggling financially.”
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Ballin helped start the movement “Open Safe California.” He says he has to pay $175,000 in back-rent after being closed for five months. Now hundreds of salons are a part of this movement, defying the state health order, and opening operations inside.
“We’re all worried, this isn’t fun for anybody,” Ballin said.
He could be subject to fines, or steeper penalties like misdemeanor charges, for not being in compliance.
“Our governing board as sent out threatening letters. They may revoke licenses, they may impose fees and everyone here is risking that today so they can feed their kids,” said Ballin.
But you won’t see the county demanding the salon to close its doors, at least according to San Joaquin County Supervisor Tom Patti.
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“I support all jobs as being essential, and I needed a haircut,” he said.
California is the only state in the country not allowing salons to operate indoors, and the supervisor doesn’t know why.
“One state, this state says, “no,” and I have to question the methodology,” he said.
But when it comes to enforcement, Supervisor Patti says the county and the state have bigger problems to deal with.
“Enforcing somebody getting a haircut is probably low on the scale on what’s important for public safety,” said Patti.
In a statement, the State Board Of Barbering and Cosmetology says it will pursue action against their license for salons and barbershops who put public health and safety at risk.