Tag Archives: shelter in place

Mayor teaches a course in Leadership 101

Leadership reveals itself in many forms.

One way is when a leader prepares for the worst while hoping for the best outcome. Example: U.S. Army Gen. Dwight Eisenhower launched the D-Day invasion of Europe in June 1944 hoping for ultimate victory, but he was prepared to deliver a message to the world in the event of failure; he would take full responsibility for a tragic outcome.

Another way is when an elected public servant battles a potentially deadly disease, steps away from his or her public duties and then returns to announce a strategy to deal with a worldwide health crisis, such as the coronavirus pandemic. Example: Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson.

I doubt Nelson — who I don’t know well, but is someone with whom I am acquainted — would welcome a comparison with the great Ike, but I am going to offer it anyway.

Nelson is battling cancer. She has backed away from her normal mayoral duties to fight the disease. But this week she issued a mandatory shelter-in-place order for the city of 200,000 residents. She issued the order calmly, with confidence and with compassion. I didn’t watch her make the declaration in real time, but I am willing to bet my entire (and dwindling) retirement fund that she made no mention of her illness, that she didn’t lay a “woe is me” guilt trip on her constituents.

We’re all enduring some level of discomfort during this difficult time. Those who are stricken by the coronavirus deserve our love and compassion. Others of us deserve unflinching leadership from those elected to serve us.

We do not need to hear self-congratulatory blather and mindless happy talk during this dire time … and if you detect a reference to what we’re getting from the very highest levels of our nation’s government, then you win the daily prize.

Well done, Mayor Nelson. Stay strong. Your city needs you.

One county judge peers into a neighbor’s ‘yard’ and offers sound advice

If I were sitting in Collin County Judge Chris Hill’s chair at this moment I might be inclined to tell Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins to mind his own bee’s wax.

Then again, were I occupying Jenkins’ chair, I might respond with, “Hey, Chris, we’re all in this together. I’m looking out for everyone in the region. That includes the residents of Collin County.”

Jenkins took part in a conference call among local county judges and local health officials who were meeting to discuss the coronavirus pandemic; Hill didn’t take part. Jenkins has issued a shelter-in-place order for all Dallas County residents, essentially ordering all non-essential businesses to close; Hill has asked folks to stay at home, too, but has kept businesses open.

Jenkins seems to think that his neighboring county judge hasn’t gone far enough. So that’s why he’s admonishing Collin County residents to stay at home while scientists, doctors, first responders answer the call to battle against the coronavirus.

Hey, I live in Collin County. I am heeding the advice given by Judge Jenkins. As for Judge Hill, well, he ought to rethink his reluctance to order the closure of those businesses.

As the Dallas Morning News has reportedAsked about the call with the hospital executive, Hill said it was accurate that he didn’t participate but that he had participated in two other calls with county judges Thursday that Jenkins didn’t take part in. “We need regional cooperation right now in North Texas,” Hill said. “And I urge Judge Clay Jenkins to reconsider his position.”

I need not remind anyone that the coronavirus cases in North Texas are growing rapidly. Accordingly, as a taxpaying constituent of Chris Hill, I hereby ask him to rethink his position.

We have “regional cooperation” in North Texas, even with Clay Jenkins’ apparent scolding.

Is this crisis making us a bit nicer to each other?

Maybe it’s just me, but I have this feeling in my gut that the coronavirus pandemic is helping create a society that is just a bit more courteous.

I kind of feel it when I go to the grocery store, or to fill my truck with fuel, or when I meet folks on the street. I find myself smiling a little more broadly at total strangers and they are returning likewise smiles to me. Our neighbors here in Princeton are offering to help us if we need it; we are returning the offer to them.

Is this what’s happening?

Our local TV stations are full of public service announcements that remind us that “we’re all in this together.”

My wife and I went to a supermarket in Farmersville the other day. We ventured about six miles east along U.S. Highway 380 to see for ourselves what we had heard from an acquaintance, that this store was doing an exemplary job of keeping their shelves stocked while so many of us are hoarding certain products.

We were standing near the stand-up freezers, watching store employees rushing to fill them with frozen vegetables. I was struck by the thought: You know, these folks might be performing one of the most valuable jobs in this community. They were hustling with broad smiles on their faces.

No one, as near as I can tell, welcomes the restricted movements we are enduring, or welcomes the rules that governments are imposing on our daily lives.

The medical personnel at our local hospitals, I am absolutely certain, do not welcome the stress they are facing as they perform heroic acts treating those afflicted with the coronavirus. They deserve our gratitude, our thanks and our best wishes as they struggle to keep our community healthy.

I hope I do not have to thank them personally while they treat me or any member of my family. I am more than willing to express my thanks to them all through this forum.

All of this just might be an unintended, but welcome, consequence of this serious crisis. It’s bringing out the best in us.

Shelter in place: Do it now and save lives

I want to call on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to do what he was elected to do, which is protect Texans against some of their more careless impulses.

The world is being attacked by an “invisible enemy,” the coronavirus. Local governments in the United States are issuing shelter in place orders. Many nations have done the same thing. Donald Trump is now reportedly considering going in the opposite direction; he is pondering whether to lift some of the restrictions businesses are facing in this time of peril.

Gov. Abbott ought to declare a statewide shelter in place mandate. Only a fool would want to put endanger himself or herself or put others in peril by exposing them to the virus. Yet we have too many fools among us.

Counties have imposed shelter in place edicts. The order limits Texans’ movement from their homes to stores to purchase food and other essential items. Dallas County invoked a shelter in place order over the weekend. Others have done so, too. Others are likely to issue similar orders.

Meanwhile, the state can simply override all 254 counties and make that declaration. Gov. Abbott can make that call.

My wife and I are prepared to follow such an order to the letter. We know it won’t last forever.

It’s time to step up, Gov. Abbott.

Hey, Judge Hill, it’s time to invoke ‘shelter in place’

This note is directed at Collin County Judge Chris Hill: They have done it in next-door Dallas County, so it’s time for Collin County to follow suit and invoke a shelter in place mandate.

I want my county to become even more proactive in fighting the spread of the coronavirus. One measure is to order residents to stay at home and leave the shelter of their dwellings only to purchase food and other essential supplies; you know, things like fuel for our vehicles and medicine for those who need it.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issued the order over the weekend. The county of some 2.4 million residents is facing some serious hassle and heartache stemming from the pandemic. Jenkins saw the need to act and, so … he did.

Collin County is home to about 1.1 million Texans. My wife and I, along with our son, daughter-in-law and two of our grandkids, are among them. We want added protection orders invoked immediately.

I don’t know if Chris Hill will see this message. I intend to email it to his office. My concern is not unlike many others around the nation and the world. I am fearful that this pandemic can get totally out of control. Indeed, it might already be at that point.

However, if our local government can take measures to stem the tide where we live, then I am all in.

Shelter in place isn’t a case of being under house arrest. We can leave our homes to, oh, walk around the block, or simply get some fresh air. And, yes, we can make purchases at the store.

There isn’t any entertainment opportunities available now as it is, with restaurants, bars and other such venues closed for the short- and perhaps medium-term.

Issue the order, Judge Hill. I know of several of your constituents who will comply.