METROPOLIS, Ill. (KFVS) - The mayor is responding to divided reactions regarding Governor JB Pritzker’s stay-at-home order.
We talked to Mayor Bill McDaniel on Thursday.
“We are not going to hold grudges, we’re not going to implement penalties to anyone," Mayor McDaniel said.
He said the City gets numerous complaints on both sides of the issue.
“If anybody’s got a complaint about the way the businesses are, call the health department," he said. "They are the lead agency.”
Metropolis resident Lee Dalton said, “Most should be open to, people should wear protection, use hand sanitizer and masks and, I mean, it should be okay as long as we practice social distancing.”
Mayor McDaniel said he understood the frustration, “but I don’t have the authority to tell them to go to work or not to go to work.”
The mayor said on Wednesday he was responding to many questions and concerns following recent postings by county officials.
In the release, the mayor said he wanted to remind the community that the City did not shut down any businesses, nor enter any stay-at-home orders. He said it was mandated by the governor and is being carried out by the various agencies of the state of Illinois.
“As the City did not close the businesses, the City does not have the authority to open them,” he said.
The mayor said he believed the governor’s order would last for 30 days and then they would return to close to “normal” operations. Because of that belief, he said the City complied with the governor’s request and announced the restrictions and instructions they were given.
“Neither I, as mayor, nor the City Council has the authority to decide what you as a business owner may or may not do at this point,” he said in the release. “If YOU choose to open your business, that is up to YOU.”
He said City government would comply with all orders that are in effect. However, he said the City can’t and won’t initiate enforcement actions on its own.
The City refers all complaints or callers to the Illinois State Police and the Southern Seven Health Department.
Mayor McDaniel said the Illinois Department of Public Health is the lead agency for the COVID-19 pandemic, and Southern Seven is its local branch. The mayor said it is up to them what actions can or will be taken.