Ada’s Mayor Explains Why He has Not Issued State of Emergency

(The following was written by Ada Mayor Dave Retterer)

Council met today with no media and no public. They were asked not to attend but not forbidden. Two of the councilors were not in attendance leaving 10 in the room with appropriate spacing around the room. Most wore masks during the meeting.

We used Zoom to do an interview for the Water Treatment Plant last week and it went well. We hired the guy tonight. He will be fantastic. I joined the interview from my shop. The interviewee and Bob Simmons joined from home, too. Jamie and Angela joined from their computers in the Village Offices. We will be meeting virtually two weeks from tonight through Zoom or some similar service that is available from our web developer. We will address issues such as how to have an executive session, time for public comment and so forth within the next week so we can test and be ready for the following week’s meeting.

The village is doing much about this and we have tried to indicate some of this on the web site and Facebook page. Links to county, state and federal sites can be reached with one to three jumps from our Facebook page. I was not able to attend the conference call with mayors but intended to. I did attend a meeting at the Emergency Operation Center in Kenton early in March that describes the activity, services and procedures recommended for Hardin County. I believe we are in good hands with county and local EMS, PD, Sheriff, Commissioners, first responders and emergency response including the Municipal Maintenance Workers, Water and Waste Water Treatment Plants.

I don’t believe that there is any enforcement authority with the police department.

Any employee who wants or needs PPE gets it. Some are required to use it. Phil Epley and Merle Cheney who operate the WWTP have created a schedule to keep the plants open and operating without them being in contact with each other. Water Treatment Plant is a bit different since we have an operator who is only here 10 hours a week to make rounds and insure that the water is fit to drink (to both us and the EPA) and an employee with an Operator 1 EPA license who is basically doing the day to day labs and work in the plant. We hope to have our new full time Water Superintendent who is licensed as both Operator 2 Water and Operator 3 Waste Water. For now he will only be involved in the Water Plant.

We have talked primarily about two things. First, how can we protect our employees who help this village operate and how can we protect the people who they come in contact with. We are assisted by many different entities including the government, providers of goods and services to the village, individuals in the village, and the list goes on and on. The second thing is how can we pay the bills and continue on a fiscally responsible basis in the future. We believe that we have a handle on this or that we are well on our way to getting it figured out. Things change every day.

I have not declared an emergency for several reasons, maybe the least of which is because I don’t think I have the authority to do that and even if I were to proclaim an emergency I doubt it would have any effect. Instead, I realize that FEMA was created to respond to any emergency or disaster declarations issued by the President of the United States and, as a result would assist with services and financial support for this emergency from the federal level (as they did, for example, with the Ice Storm). Second, Governor DeWine has declared a state of emergency for the entire state and third, the Commissioners of Hardin County, Ohio have declared a state of emergency. A declaration from me or the Village Council would add nothing to it and could, in my mind, incite more panic than we have already had.

Don’t panic, pay attention to what the federal , state, and the county and village governments ask of us, and watch the adaoh.org web site for information.