Posted May 10, 2020
This is a station editorial, I'm Randal J. Miller, station president.
Since Illinois Governor J-B Pritzker released his plan called "Restore Illinois" on May 5th to re-open the state in 5 phases after the coronavirus outbreak, we've heard him tout this plan a lot in his daily news conferences. That day, and every day since, he has continued to say that data, science, and public health experts, determine when each of the 4 health regions he designated across the state, will open.
While he threw downstate legislators and residents a bone with his "Restore Illinois" regional approach to re-opening the state, what's concerning to us is the bar he set for each region to open, is so high, that some regions may not open for weeks or months.
And, in Regional Radio listening area, he included several metro areas including Springfield, Decatur, and Champaign, that have seen larger numbers of cases and deaths, making our region's data more challenging to hit the Restore Illinois benchmark before re-opening.
The thing I have YET to hear from the Governor in all his daily grandstanding, is WHEN he will allow a more local approach to re-opening our counties' economies. There is no better government in our estimation, than LOCAL government.
Why not let our rural counties, cities and towns, use the "Restore Illinois" 5-phase plan on a LOCAL basis, again using common sense and data from each of those local areas. Who knows better what's going on with the health and well being of local residents, than governments in counties, cities, and villages?
In the counties we serve, we've already lost some small businesses that will never re-open, and we're doing major harm to those that hanging on. Our rural counties flattened the curve weeks ago. Let those that know their residents the best on the local level, determine when and how our communities will re-open.
How much longer will we inflect irreparable harm on our small town way of life?
The clock is ticking.
That's our opinion....we welcome yours.
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