Letter to the editor: Does ceding power work with germs?

Staff Writer
Topeka Capital-Journal

I read the Topeka Capital-Journal article "Gov. Kelly signs COVID-19 response bill“ (June 8 issue). While I am somewhat glad that Gov. Laura Kelly allocated over $1 billion in aid in federal relief, I am skeptical of her giving more emergency powers to local officials.

Normally, I am supportive of local hands-on judgment and governance. However, does that apply to germs? Or even jobs? In many ways a governor must still lead. I am reluctant to say it, but I think Gov. Kelly faced an angry populace and simply wanted the proverbial monkey on other people's backs.

Years ago, I lived in Rose Hill, which is only a couple miles east of the Sedgwick-Butler County line. My parents had jobs and shopped at stores and did other transactions in Sedgwick County; yet we got our car-tags in Butler County and I, of course, went to school there. I just think such a plan is prudent for regional catastrophes, perhaps an earthquake.

However, for germs that can lead to the spread of COVID-19, I don't think it is feasible, since germs know no boundaries. Nor do germs pay attention to those who issue directives. Vital industries such as meat-packing, interstate road commerce, airlines in the state look to any governor for guidance. Anything less is a patchwork quilt. And, differing rules just makes a bad situation that much worse. I think the governor shouldn't have ceded power, but looked for wise counselors in the regions which may have varied.

James A. Marples, Esbon