Thank you to Mike Brown, 6th district county commissioner, who made a motion to reopen Johnson County during a ZOOM (online) meeting. It failed.Thanks also to Steve Klika and Michael Ashcraft, commissioners, who also voted for reopening.
During the special BOCC May 1 meeting, Brown said he represented his constituents who wanted to see the county reopened due to financial problems and consequences: including stress and isolation.
Brown wanted to reopen in line with the state’s plan.
That’s not necessarily a popular stance to take. The COVID-19 pandemic has created fear, stress and anger. School buildings are closed. Events cancelled. People want to stay home and stay safe. They are afraid. We don’t blame them.
We encourage people to take care of their health: practice social distancing, wash hands often, wear a mask . Stay home and feel safe until comfortable to go out.
But for others, it’s a matter of money. Business owners. Food service workers. Warehouse workers. Not all “essential workers” at fast food, delivery, retail, necessarily want to work. They may have to work for financial survival.
Very few of us can live on a $1,000 stimulus check for eight weeks. And not everyone got the stimulus.
Local businesses, particularly mom and pop places, don’t have the luxury of a national/global office that can raise funds on the stock market. They’re not running multi-million ad campaigns telling us how much they care.
Local businesses rely on local customers and constant cash flow.
Getting the government’s PPP loan may still have payback repercussions. It’s ironic government closes business down, offers a loan, tells them what they can use the money for, or charges two percent interest. Is that taxation? or extortion?
Brown showed leadership and forward thinking when he made a motion to reopen the county in line with the state. We can’t stay on lock down forever.
Every action has a reaction. The longer everything is shut down, the worse the financial repercussions. Already Kansas is estimating more than a 50 percent reduction in tax collections.
Businesses will fail. The unemployment fund will run dry. Taxes will probably go up. And the moratorium on rent and utilities will end.
It will be time to pay the piper.