Abide by CDC and Pa. Department of Health guidelines

To all our fellow citizens in Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties. We the undersigned commissioners want to encourage each of you as we advance through this COVID-19 virus pandemic to stay informed. We recognize the importance of having all of us working together to defeat the threat of this virus affecting our citizens.

This pandemic is like no other we’ve ever faced before. We want to encourage you to follow the guidelines put forth by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and the Pa. Department of Health. Our responsibility as county commissioners is to safeguard the public’s safety to the extent of our ability.

We value every one of you and we want you to be safe. Stay home if you are not required to be at work; limit your travel so we can flatten the curve of COVID-19. This will support our local hospitals, friends, and neighbors.

We thank you for your patience and cooperation during this national disaster.

Columbia County Commissioners Dave Kovach, Rich

Ridgeway, Chris Young

Montour County Commissioners Trevor Finn, Ken Holdren,

Dan Hartman

Northumberland County Commissioners Kym Best, Joe

Klebon, Sam Schiccatano

Snyder County Commissioners Adam Ewig, Joe Kantz,

Chuck Steininger

Union County Commissioners Preston Boop, Jeff Reber,

Stacy Richards

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Urging the governor to rescind

On Friday, March 19, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf issued an executive order effectively closing all businesses across the state that his office deemed “non-life-sustaining.” He did this without consulting the legislature or federal health officials. This order represents a significant overreach of executive power using the public’s health concerns as a shield. This order disregards the guidance set forth by public health officials, foments disproportionate fear and panic, and further damages the general welfare of our state. Every job that produces a life-sustaining wage is a vital one.

Public Health, Safety and Welfare are the primary functions of local government. I am concerned, of course, that all residents have the most accurate information to exercise their best judgment in limiting their activities and interactions with others during this health crisis. I cannot, however, participate in unlawful acts against our constituents in the name of protecting them.

Despite acting in good faith, when the governor moved from strongly urging business closures to forcing those closures, he did so without a legal authority. Although he cites the Emergency Management Services Code as the basis for his power, neither this law, nor the Disease Prevention and Control Law gives him the authority to close private businesses. Freedom of movement, property rights and peaceful assembly are our natural, God-given rights. Our state and Federal Constitutions recognize and protect these rights. The governor is wantonly violating those rights and enjoining local municipalities to assist him.

I join our representatives in both Harrisburg and Washington, D.C. who have urged the governor to immediately rescind this order. The governor’s order included enforcement by local municipalities. I will in no manner whatsoever assist the state in enforcement of this order to the extent that it is unlawful. I urge businesses in our area to manage their operations with the greatest prudence and the best information available. I urge other local officials within the commonwealth to join me in opposition to the governor’s unlawful order.

Billy Allred,

Union Township Supervisor, Union County

President, Union County Association of Township Officials

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