DARKE COUNTY — During Monday’s session of the Darke County Board of Commissioners, commissioners approved a letter to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine asking him to allow Darke County businesses to reopen.
The letter applauds the efforts of the governor and State Health Director Dr. Amy Acton for their efforts in combating the Coronavirus pandemic. However, the commissioners — Matt Aultman, Mike Rhoades and Mike Stegall — believe it is now time for the county’s small businesses to be reopened.
“The one-size-fits-all approach to this pandemic is folly, we need to be treated as individual cases and not as a whole,” the letter states, pointing out that the differences between rural areas and the larger metropolitan areas of the state.
“Especially rural counties in the state, we feel like we’re all being lumped in together. It’s typical what Columbus and the Federal government do,” said Stegall. “They try to make it one-size-fits-all and its not good for anybody.”
“The way they’re doing it now is they’re picking winners and losers, and that’s not their job,” he added.
Aultman said approximately 20 other Ohio counties are doing the same according to the County Commissioners Association of Ohio.
In a separate statement issued Tuesday, the commissioners said that while they expect businesses to reopen soon, these merchants must still practice recommended health guidelines.
“The Darke County Commissioners have been consulting our Sheriff and our Health Commissioner and we agree it is time to allow these businesses to open,” the statement said. “If you follow proper safety techniques, we say open and run your business your way.”
The Darke County Commissioners meet every Monday and Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. at 520 South Broadway in Greenville. Meetings are open to the public, with social distancing precautions in effect.