Jackson County wants certain businesses to reopen


Jackson County, Mich. (WLNS)– At their Tuesday night meeting, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners discussed whether or not they should be allowed to designate certain businesses as essential.

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners considered two resolutions at their virtual meeting. Option A would have allowed the board to declare businesses like lawn care, landscaping— tree cutting, and boat services as essential. Option B said the county believes those businesses should be allowed to re-open but left the decision up to the state.

“We all feel that the state should open things back up and find a way to relax things,” James Shotwell, Chairman of the board said.

Shotwell said there’s been some confusion about the Governor’s ‘Stay Home Stay Safe’ order. Some commissioners added, there are also inconsistencies, like being able to go out on a kayak, but not a boat.

“At the state level there has been trouble distinguishing essential from safe,” Commissioner Earl Poleski said.

Despite believing some services should be considered essential, Controller Michael Overton said there were concerns from the county’s attorney that making a decision at the county level
could cause legal problems, or possibly send the wrong message.

“He says option a clearly he believes would be a step too far,” Overton said.

That’s why the board decided to go with the safer of the two. In a 7-2 vote, the commissioners approved Option B, which says “This resolution is not meant to be a directive or mandate for the noted businesses or operations to return to work, but instead is intended to serve as
notice that Jackson County believes these businesses and operations can operate safely, are “Essential Critical Infrastructure workers”, and they should be allowed to return to work;

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