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Dee McLelland: When politics and reason don’t collide
Dee McLelland new

Several weeks ago I mentioned we would get “into the weeds” with things concerning COVID-19.

Well, they’re up to our necks already.

It seems every state’s governor has his own agenda, own plan and apparently no true science when it comes to rhyme or reason with starting to open up the business world again. You pick a state, but the one I’m talking about has the initials G.E.O.R.G.I.A.

I never believed someone could knock the comedic escapades of Florida politicians off the map until our Governor Kemp started playing COVID-19 like a ping pong ball against a brick wall.

Either he is getting some of the worst advice in the world from his “virus team,” or he virtually is bowing to politicos and business leaders to get things rolling. Or, it’s something completely different.

Understandably, not one person, with the exception of scientists who study these types of things, could have been prepared for what we have seen over the last few months, but the reasoning, timing of closing and now opening of our state has to be looked at with some recently wide-opened eyes.

When I wrote of politicians turning this into a political platform several weeks ago, I guess I didn’t think some of the things I’ve seen would actually happen. It would be irresponsible of me to say that didn’t happen to our federal and state leaders as well. None of us have gone through some of these things we are going through now.

I ramble a bit to say the re-opening of businesses in Georgia seems a bit rushed and before I go further, I know small and medium sized businesses are getting slammed. We are as well here at the Coastal Courier and the Bryan County News. Not to the same extent as small business owners, whose entire livelihood depends on opening doors, but we do fall into the small business category.

I would have loved for Georgia business owners to have the chance to prove they can protect themselves and their customers before re-opening. Remember, it took several of the “essential,” stores a bit of time to get a safe practice in place during our lock down and our businesses set to open may have the same problem. While we would all like to think all business owners want us to be safe, the truth is they may not. Instead of flinging the doors wide open for everyone, it should be incumbent on the state and counties to make sure the businesses wanting to open have a plan in place and can pull it off.

I know, I know, that sounds too reasonable, but rarely do politics and reason collide in the same sentence.

I know Georgia closed down after other states and I know we may open before other states that were closed down longer than us, but, hey, that’s reasonable, right? When I mentioned the “weeds” weeks ago I said our local politicians and leaders would be the ones watching out for us. I still believe that and here’s my reasoning.

If a mayor or county commissioner isn’t re-elected most times they continue by going back to their own business or to their original career. Their best bet for continued public service is to service the public, plain and simple.

I want Georgia back and open for business, but I also want and hope we do it with a plan in mind for the coming months and coming years.

Our governor certainly does, since he has over $5 million in funding already for the 2022 governor’s election.

I wish his plans right now were as clear and concise as apparently his plans are for future political gains.

If you see me, say “Hey!”

Dee McLelland is the Publisher of the Coastal Courier and the Bryan County News. He can be reached at

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