BAKER CITY, OR (KPTV) - The mayor of Baker City in eastern Oregon is making national headlines after criticizing Gov. Kate Brown for her pandemic restrictions.

Business owners and other people who live in Baker City proposed the idea of a ‘common sense sanctuary’ to city council, which passed the resolution, Resolution 3881, on Mar. 23 by a 5-2 vote.

Baker County, which Baker City resides in, is one of many counties that moved into extreme risk last week. Baker City Mayor Kerry McQuisten blamed Brown’s restrictions, saying her city has mental health, economic and crime crises not because of the virus, but because of state mandates instead.

“Our intent was to give our citizens a voice. They felt, for the past year, they have not had a voice and they're being hurt at this point, and someone needed to stand up and speak loudly on their behalf. And our hope was, also, that this would spread across the state and pick up steam and that other cities and counties would jump on board and say the same,” said McQuisten.

While the resolution acknowledges the city cannot legally ignore Brown’s restrictions, McQuisten said she would support businesses who do.

Eastern Oregon mayor makes national headlines as 'common sense sanctuary' resolution is passed

Image: KPTV

“That’s not my decision. That’s the decision of each individual business owner. I mean, if I were in their position and I were facing losing everything I’ve worked my entire life to build, I would go down fighting,” she said.

McQuisten told FOX 12 the state guidelines are not a one size fits all situation, describing them for her city as arbitrary and nonsensical.

“I would like the governor to either open up Oregon or to turn that decision back over locally, turn it back over to the county level,” she said. “Baker County is not the same as Portland, not the same as Salem. Our needs are different, our situation is different. No one knows better than us, locally, what’s happening here.”

FOX 12 reached out to the governor's office two days in a row for a response to McQuisten's criticism. As of Tuesday evening, they had not returned our questions.

Copyright 2021 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


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(10) comments


Good for her nice to see someone who has a brain.


Refreshing. I went shopping 5/4/21 in Clark County Wa. Once inside I found half a dozen people, like me, not wearing masks. Freedom.


"While the resolution acknowledges the city cannot legally ignore Brown’s restrictions, McQuisten said she would support businesses who do."

So when a business gets slapped with a fine is she going to pay it for them? Of course not.

Worst PDX Mayor Ever

Not surprising that you support the lunatic fringe in office.


It means that if Kate Brown wants to slap anyone with a fine, she is going to have to send her people out to do it. They can't ignore the restrictions legally but they can ignore enforcement.

Lawlessness Brings Destruction

COVID Kate's minions has yet to collect a cent of her attempted intimidation fines.


McQuisten should run for Governor.

Worst PDX Mayor Ever

Not even. Stan Pulliam has got the GOP nomination locked up, and thanks to the idiocy of Kate Brown and Ted Wheeler, Pulliam might actually have a shot at winning the general election.

Lawlessness Brings Destruction

The Democrat controlled Elections Division won't allow that to happen. I've seen eyewitness testimony on how Democrat activist election workers and supervisors isolate and conceal their activities from poll watchers.

They've got election fraud down to a science.

Lawlessness Brings Destruction

Bud Pierce has the establishment RINO nomination, not Stan Pulliam.

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