By Christopher Johnson

Understanding what a Declared State of Emergency is something that has been discussed at recent meetings of the Pecatonica Village Board.

This past Tuesday, a vote to continue the previously established State of Emergency was once again taken and as recent history has indicated, it wasn’t a unanimous vote to continue the practice.

Because of concern of contraction and or spread of COVID-19 and its variants, the Pecatonica Village Board had agreed to continue the practice of allowing Village President Bill Smull the right to handle things more quickly and as needed, and then report his findings to the body as a whole at the next opportunity.

The cause for action was directly connected to the safety and protection of citizens as a whole.

One of the criteria to meet to allow for the establishment of a call-to-arms involves protection from invasive pandemic or epidemic realities.

COVID-19 has brought that to bear and it has been a situation that has caused county wide, State and National concerns.

Numbers have been rising as new “variants” have slipped into place, for those vaccinated and non-inoculated alike.

However, that has become a bit of a concern for Trustee Tom Heister and a couple co-leaders on the Village’s Municipal Council.

The second-term representative explained that he didn’t think the need to continue things as they had been done was present. It was supported through action taken in Springfield.

“The State of Emergency has ended completely now in the State, I believe. Why keep it going?”

When a call to action is deemed necessary, steps have to be taken and at times money has to be allocated for use to assure securities are addressed.

The well-being of the community at whole becomes the primary focus for village officials and municipal forces when a State of Emergency is in place.

Heister explained that his decision to want to end Executive control was tied to his attempt to be fiscally responsible and accountable to taxpayers, during this time of concern.

“I personally voted no to continuing it. It just gave the  wrong people the authority to spend money, in my opinion.”

Some digital and hard-copied definitions of the need for a State of Emergency have been put in front of the eyes of the public.

According to online sources such as Wikipedia, “A State of Emergency is a situation in which a government is empowered to be able to put through policies that it would normally not be permitted to do.”

On Tuesday Dec. 20, during the regular meeting of the Pecatonica Village Board, Trustees were once again asked to continue the practice.

Heading into the November meeting, a vote of three-three was reached when the Ordinance for consideration was offered.

The Village President’s vote to continue facilitating practices was the tie-breaker, allowing the State of Emergency to remain in place for the next 30 days, or until the Board meets as a whole next in a majority setting.

The Pecatonica Village Board is scheduled to meet on the third Tuesday of every month at 6:30pm.

As a Committee of the Whole, the municipal drivers gather on the first Thursday of each month at 6 p.m.

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