City of Lubbock Mayor Dan Pope announced on Thursday the formation of the Lubbock Economy Recovery Task Force (LERT). The force will be formed of 20 community leaders with the intent of restarting Lubbock's economy while maintaining proper health practices.
"I've also encouraged them to be the voice of our community," Pope said. "To be the voice, you've got to listen to our community and I think Mr. Massengale will talk a little bit more about how they will do that."
LERT will be led by two Lubbock natives, City Councilman and local business owner Steve Massengale, and CEO of United Supermarkets Robert Taylor. Together, Massengale and Taylor will help lead the task force, which will consist of citizens, Texas Tech representatives, health care industry members and more.
"I believe that when we know the time to recover, Lubbock can be prepared and will reopen in a safe and responsible way," Massengale said. "I'm really excited to co-chair this with Robert Taylor."
Starting next week, LERT will focus on building recommendations and guidance for the Lubbock City Council, so that businesses, schools, the citizens of Lubbock and more can reclaim their livelihoods.
"It's not just about getting back to work. It's how you do it," Taylor said. "How timely we can get it done in the safest way we can do it, knowing that if we do it wrong we could see what they call the 'W' here, and we could see it bounce back. And that would be a disaster not only medically, but it'd be a disaster also I think to our economy."