Area leaders make up members of Governor’s Task Force


LUBBOCK, Texas — On Friday, Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order establishing a ‘Strike Force to Open Texas’ with 39 members from across the Lone Star State. Three of those members are from the South Plains Area.

The three members representing the South Plains include Carla Moran with Ramar Communications, Brad Heffington owner of Heffington Farms Inc. and Triple T Irrigation and Marc McDougal, CEO of McDougal Companies.

“We are tasked with submitting plans on how we would recommend the state to open,” McDougal said.

The team is made up of medical experts and private and public leaders. The members will advise the governor on a way to strategically reopen the state, according to the governor’s office.

“How do you safely reopen retail? How do you safely reopen restaurants? And what are the rules regarding the personal services industry.” McDougal said.

McDougal said he has had frequent communication with Moran and Heffington, staying up until 2:30 a.m. on Monday morning to come up with their advice.

“We submitted a proposal to the Governor’s Office–or Chairman Huffines office on Monday as far as our recommendation,” McDougal said.

The group has since worked long hours; taking calls, responding to text messages and participating in online conference calls. The group has heard from not only local business owners, but folks across the state.

“Being asked to serve on this just felt like something we needed to do to serve our region,” Heffington said.

The members are not only taking into consideration their own communities, but what they think will work for the entire state.

“Everything we are doing is in an abundance of caution,” Heffington said. “We are trying to protect our citizens’ health in this time, too. No one is ignoring the fact that this is a dangerous virus.

The Strike Force will have a conference call on Friday with all of the members to decide on their final recommendation, and on Monday, Gov. Abbott is expected to sign executive orders into place regarding the reopening of businesses.

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