To hit the ground running

The City of Waco and other entities will choose new leaders in the next election. Cities and counties are at the forefront of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. School districts are also involved because classrooms can be repositories of germs that are then spread to caregivers at home. Hence many businesses and schools are closed to control spread of the disease.

In this election cycle, new leaders will take office just a few days after the May 2 election. New leaders should be ready to hit the ground running. Cities, counties and other districts should start training and preparing new leaders now for the pandemic response, even with the election a month away. This could include providing emergency preparedness documents, inviting candidates to listen to webinars or teleconferences and considering a system for transferring knowledge from the existing officeholder to the new one.

This may not be normal practice, but these are not normal times. As a candidate for Waco city office, I have written the mayor asking for this training. I believe it is essential for every new officeholder to be trained for the pandemic response now, so he or she can get to work from day one.

Dave Morrow, Waco

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mr. Morrow is a candidate for Waco mayor.

What government wants

I was reading about this $2 trillion stimulus package and the $1,200 per person we’re supposed to get. I am wondering how this will work, speaking for myself and my family. We have three adults here who have not filed tax returns in a number of years. So if they’re using that to determine checks, then I guess we will be overlooked. I am pretty sure there are others in the same situation wondering about this. And what about the homeless? Don’t they deserve the check as well? After all, you know they will (in all likelihood) spend it putting money back into circulation. Isn’t that what the government wants? Money being spent again? Maybe I’m wrong on that part.

Ed Rumrill, Waco

EDITOR’S NOTE: Our understanding is that 2019 or even 2018 tax returns are the primary way the government can determine one’s income for purposes of these stimulus checks but not the only way. The Treasury Department is also authorized to draw information from other federal agencies such as those that provide benefits. It’s basic information because the bill stipulates if you earn more than $75,000 as an individual, $112,500 as head of a household or $150,000 if you are married filing jointly, the size of those checks begins getting whittled down.

More information!

Why do our broadcast news sources keep showing full-screen maps of the United States with all states colored bright red to indicate the extent of the coronavirus spread? There’s really no new information there since all 50 states were infected days ago. We already know where the states are located, how large they are and the two-letter code for each.

Instead, why not show real news such as the number of cases in each state; the number of hospitalizations; the number of deaths, etc. These numbers will not fit on top of each state in the map, but those for the Northeast can be shown in tabular form, as is commonly done.

As for the Trib’s daily chart on Page One (for local, Texas and U.S.), please augment the numbers now being shown for cases and deaths with numbers for hospitalizations and on-ventilator. It would also be nice to know how many ventilator-equipped hospital rooms are available locally and the status of the personal protective equipment that is available and its rate of use. Also, what are our hospitals’ plans for handling patients when patient demand outstrips the number of rooms available locally? How are people who need hospital care but are not COVID-19 patients being treated?

Of course, my sending this email to the Trib will not cause the big networks to change their ways, but perhaps the local affiliates can pass this request up the line.

Herbert R. Haynes, China Spring

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