Mayor’s Message Board
April 3, 2020
I define community by all people who reside in our Village, work in our Village and shop in our Village.
The COVID 19 virus is the most contagious disease I’ve experienced in my lifetime. I’ve never been involved with a disease that so rapidly impacted every country, state and county with such devastating effects on people young and old.
Geauga County to date has been fortunate, but as we’ve seen is still experiencing rapid growth or spread. We now have several reported cases in our community. I am in current and urgent discussions with UH and Cardinal Schools regarding setting up a satellite hospital at our local middle school. This has the potential to be catastrophic here as we’ve seen in other areas of the country that did not take this threat seriously before it was too late. It is kind of like a fire which can go from manageable to unmanageable if efforts to contain are not successful.
I and all of our Village elected officials live here and serve here because we have a deep regard for the people that live, work, shop and play in our community. We are proud of the people that support to make our Village a great place to live.
The Federal and State governments have set guidelines for safe behavior. To date some of the guidelines have been direct orders that aren’t optional. Those legal requirements, as painful as they are, have been admirably adhered to by our business community. The requirements listed below have been communicated as requests, asking for our cooperation as individuals. These are initiatives we can accomplish as individuals to assist in defeating this terrible virus. The guidelines are:
Be sure to social distance, defined by staying 6 feet apart as individuals
Limit gatherings to groups of 10 or less (and when groups meet ensure you maintain the social distance requirement of 6 feet between individuals)
We are to stay home unless absolutely necessary for our survival.
We are to be diligent in washing our hands frequently with soap and water and if not available using high alcohol content hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your face.
Sanitize hard surfaces that have high activity.
If you don’t come in contact with a surface or someone infected you will not get the virus. Professionals tell me that many people have the virus but don’t display the symptoms. I spoke to the county health inspector earlier this week and he gave great advice, “treat every person you see and every knob or surface you touch as this person or object is carrying the virus” We all need to believe this and behave accordingly.
We all find these requirements as an infringement on the life we were used to living. The requirements are not comfortable but required for us to be respectful of our community and for our county, state and country to heal.
We as individuals can make the difference.
When I remark on the following observations they apply to our entire community, (I defined community if the first sentence of this memo)
I see violations every day in our community and surrounding area. I as the Mayor of this community with the support of all elected officials am pleading with you to set aside our personal desires, get past the attitude we don’t want to be inconvenienced, and this is a violation of our rights. Think of this period as a time when I am going to show all that I come in contact with that I respect them and don’t in anyway want to negatively impact their lives. We are a Christian nation and I firmly believe this is the behavior all Christians should adopt and embrace.
God bless our Community and our Nation
Mayor Village of Middlefield
With full support of Village Council
April 1, 2020
I am committed to providing a weekly update during this pandemic with items that pertain to our Village. I know all of our lives have been altered. We took many things for granted that we now consider a luxury such as meeting friends for dinner and getting together with family on holidays and special occasions.
I recently celebrated my birthday, and for the first time it was without my daughters, granddaughters and sons-in-law. I see lines constantly at the banks drive-up and walk-up windows. Onsite church services are cancelled, and we are attending services via streaming or watching on TV. Life is different; but we are still thankful we have access to food; and the supply chain, which provides necessities, is still intact.
Our utilities are still operating, and we have heat, lights and water. I so respect all the employees that continue to work every day to ensure we are supplied with basic needs. I applaud your dedication and courage. I am not trying to minimize the situation, but we still can conduct life with dignity.
This being said, I can’t emphasize enough how critical it is to follow the guidelines to help minimize the impact on our area. I am constantly receiving communications from citizens concerned with people they feel are violating safe-behavior guidelines.
We all need to realize our behavior not only impacts us, but potentially, with the contagiousness of this virus, the lives of all with whom we come into contact. We absolutely must adhere to social distancing, practice good hand hygiene, and not congregate in large groups.
Out of respect for our neighbors and to minimize the impact in our area, we must take personal responsibility. If we don’t, I can assure you our quality of life will decline. Let’s work together to make the absolute best of this terrible situation.
God bless America!
March 27, 2020
I wanted to take this opportunity to communicate with you while we are all adjusting our lives to cope with the Coronavirus/COVID-19. Most of us, if any, have never experienced an event like this during our lifetime. I spent considerable time this week meeting with UH officials and interacting on conference calls with federal officials, state officials and Ohio mayors. I want to communicate some information from these discussions plus relay my thoughts and some ideas that are helping me work through this, and I hope you will find helpful as well.
Our federal government has a plan that will resolve this issue. I don’t think it will be as quick as we would like, but this virus will be defeated. They have sealed the borders and reduced the number of people coming in from 60,000 per day to 4,000 per day. The people that are coming in are being medically screened to ensure they are not compounding the issue.
Government is working with private industry to retool; for example, General Motors facilities are making ventilators. They have energized research and development, reduced red tape, and are going full bore from multiple sources working on medical solutions to minimize symptoms and develop a vaccine to prevent infection. They are pumping dollars into our economy to try to assist and ensure the robust American footprint stays intact. We want individuals and businesses to survive this crippling situation and they have created a personal habit instruction book that if we all follow, we will not contract the disease. This plan however needs to be executed by us. Plans can be great but without implementation they are worthless.
Governors around the country have implemented different restrictions thinking they are doing what is required for their state’s situation. One size doesn’t fit all as some areas are harder hit than others. Our state has passed HB197 which I would encourage you to read. It deals with many issues in the area of unemployment benefits, utility shut offs and the list goes on. I can tell you it is designed to protect our residents as they go through this challenging period.
I’ve spoken to a majority of our major employers in Middlefield, most of them are defined as essential businesses and are continuing to operate. I know in discussions with them they are following the guidelines laid out for operating safely.
I was so impressed when I called landlords that lease space to businesses that were ordered to close. A majority of these landlords had already communicated with their tenants about forgoing rent until they could resume operation. I’ve had calls offering food to our front-line personnel or anyone in need. I’ve had offers for individuals that would volunteer their time to assist those in need. You would think this would be a time where we become more selfish as we have huge problems of our own, but it is definitely not the case.
The Village is also thinking of ways to partner and assist. We created a new hot line number for any urgent need that doesn’t fall in the 911 emergency category. We are maintaining all Village services. We also put in procedures that follow the required guidelines to keep our employees safe.
Our large food retailers have created special dedicated shopping hours for at risk individuals.
Our local restaurants have stepped up streamlining their takeout and delivery services, and I encourage you to support as this is their only revenue stream.
We discussed how the Village can creatively financially assist small local businesses in the event these conditions don’t correct within a reasonable period of time. We are in this together and will take whatever action is required to provide maximum assistance.
American citizens will solve this by being disciplined and intelligent in our daily behavior.
I heard the comment yesterday that social distancing does not mean social isolation. I had a resident send me a flyer from another community with an idea I think would be ideal for our Village for all times but especially now. The flyer promoted that every evening at 7 p.m. (weather permitting) go outside your house to the front sidewalk or curb. With this practice you could interact (remember social distancing, 6 feet) with your neighbors, catch up, share ideas for productive use of time and check on each other’s overall wellbeing. I know on my street of 11 homes two of the neighbors are relatively new and I’ve never met them. I hope they participate, and I will have the opportunity to make their acquaintance.
I received another suggestion that we encourage our children to decorate our sidewalks with sidewalk chalk. It would entertain the walkers and keep our children constructively active while they have additional free time.
Last Saturday, my entire family had a dinner competition and then played monopoly using a free app called house party. I felt like we were together, and it made for a great evening.
As damaging as this is, I do see some positives. This is the first time in years, or ever, that families have hit the pause button. I see more positive family unity in this short period than I can ever remember. I hope we appreciate and realize what we may have been missing and will work to keep this cohesiveness going forward.
As I stated earlier, when we posted that we are displaying our flags earlier in the year within the Village, we need to ban together, retain the lessons we learn during this period and keep positive as we look forward to life returning to normal.