Government Innovation –– Too much to ask?

In facing COVID, the County is setting a lot of "you can't" standards –– and for generally good reasons –– but we don't see a lot of "you can" solutions being offered up and it makes me wonder, is innovation and flexibility something we really should be expecting of our elected leaders?

Definitely.

 

In facing COVID, the County is setting a lot of "you can't" standards –– and for generally good reasons –– but we don't see a lot of "you can" solutions being offered up and it makes me wonder, is innovation and flexibility something we really should be expecting of our elected leaders?

Definitely.

Our epidemiological public health is important. But there's also public health value in recreating, stress relief and helping local businesses provide livelihoods. When we're told we can't do something, we should be asking ourselves "what can we do instead?"

Should we face more restrictions on normal business operations, one option the County should explore more is utilizing public and open space for business to use. Places where the air isn't recirculated, social distance is much easier to maintain, and sunlight helps provide a bit of protection. Combined with public health protocols, Farmer's Markets and swap meets can be great alternative markets while parks and fields could readily adapt to picnicking from restaurants.

Columbia State Historic Park, for example, has quite a bit of space around from the gazebo area, places for tables between the hickory trees, and in fields near the St. Charles parking lot. 6ft? Heck, space out 10ft with yellow rocks and there is still plenty of space for family picnics. Allow businesses to reserve spaces for use during certain times.

Or (presuming Park approval) see if Railtown's big beautiful lawn can be utilized as a dining area for local restaurants.
Combine this with a relaxation of open-container laws to allow drinking within a defined area.

Or see a modernization approach where the county provides a hub to get businesses online. The Bright Orange Poppy has been working on this for local products and artists. Could we approach GrubHub for a special deal?

These are just a few ideas but we have to consider not only surviving COVID, both the cause and cure, but also looking for how we can come out of this stronger ESPECIALLY as a rural area.


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