By Eric Robins, Chair of the Nevada County Democrats.
“Honorable Supervisors, I come before you today as Chair of the Nevada County Democratic Party.
“In today’s paper, Supervisors Hoek and Miller stated their desire to have “a conversation” about the topic of local control and reopening Nevada County. I appreciate their candor in stating that this resolution does not mean we will “go rogue,” but I must admit that we are still confused and concerned about this resolution’s intent and necessity.
“While we find much of the resolution’s content innocuous, or even agreeable, the letter that accompanied the resolution in your packet indicates that it shares an origin with the far more divisive and aggressive resolutions modeled on that of State Senator Kevin Kiley, who explicitly agitates against the State and Governor Newsom. Public comments I’ve seen in the paper, online, and heard in line behind me, indicate some of our conservative or Republican colleagues believe this resolution will somehow open us up completely. These comments make us deeply worried about how the passage of this resolution might be interpreted by residents and business owners and the possible resulting behavior changes from the community that might endanger our path to recovery.
“But I am not here to draw partisan lines in the sand. To be clear, Democrats do not like, enjoy, or appreciate the never-ending cycles of quarantine, lockdown, and isolation. We are just like everyone else, tired and exhausted. We’ve had concerns with our state government’s leadership in this crisis. But just because we are “a mid-sized rural county with distinctly unique communities located across wide geographical dispersed areas” does not mean we can ignore the laws of viral transmission. South Dakota fits that same description and ranks 46th in the US in population, but it ranks 10th in per-capita deaths. Covid-19 is profoundly and uniquely dangerous, regardless of geography. More than half a million Americans are dead, including my own Grand Uncle.
“For that reason we strongly believe we must continue with extreme caution, NOT because we want to but because we must. If this resolution passes, will people take it as permission to go “back to normal?” Fewer masks means more Covid. More close contact means more Covid. More travel from out of county, more covid. In 2020 our County had no new cases for almost a month and a half throughout April and May, until one incubation period after Memorial day, and cases have been increasing ever since. We can’t even seem to get out of the purple tier.
“Regarding this resolution, let me point out to you that there have been major recent developments that relate to its action clauses, making them perhaps unnecessary:
Vaccine implementation has been chaotic to say the least, but I’m lucky my older family members have been vaccinated, and more people are getting it every day. The CDC released guidelines just yesterday indicating how immunity by vaccine is the path to normalcy, but Covid is still here and a very real danger to many, including people like me, who may be young but have respiratory conditions which put us at risk.
Regarding support for schools, the Governor recently released major incentives and support for safe reopening.
Regarding economic relief and support for businesses, although it won’t be distributed in the way you prefer, there is another stimulus bill on the way.
“Given these developments, what purpose is served by this resolution? What will it achieve, and if the answer is nothing different from what we’re doing already – following public health expert advice – then why are we considering it? If the words “local control” will be interpreted as “we can do anything we want,” THAT could lead to reckless behavior, which would lead to increased Covid transmission, which will make things harder for the very schools and businesses this resolution intends to support.
“For that reason we ask you to vote No, or at least postpone the resolution so you can clarify its intent and affirm our communal commitment to public safety.
“Thank you for your time.”