OPINION - Let the Counties Decide


It's their time.

County Governments are often the forgotten force in politics.  To borrow a phrase from the sports world, they are the blocking backs of the system.  They don't get as much coverage as their brethren and sistren (?) in the White House, The Governor's mansion or even the City Commissions.  But look at the work they do and the diversity of people they serve, and county governments are often unappreciated as much as they are unheralded. 

Well friends, the time is now for that to change.

Every governor in every state is now trying to figure out how to balance the needs of their larger metropolitan areas (we use that term loosely in North Dakota but you get my drift) with the rural communities.  What needs to happen in Roseau is not what needs to happen in Roseville.  Same could be said for Fargo and Fordville.  Sioux Falls and Sisseton.  

To think that President Trump should rule everyone with that broad a brush is laughable.  And he's resisted any uniform national shelter in place orders, to his credit.  But even to think that the Burgums, the Walzs and the Noems can run their states with a broad brush misses the point.  The best government FOR the people is the closest government TO the people.  Cities would be ideal but many of our towns aren't prepared for the workload that such decisions would require.  

So let's let counties have their moment in the sun.  In NFL draft terms, let that undrafted rookie get a few snaps on Monday night football.  Let THEM call the shots on how they reopen.  Governors can give some hints, some nudges, some guidelines, but let the county governments have their day in the sun.  They can handle it and they know their landscapes.  

I think we'll find that county governments are more than ready.  They know their people.  And they'll be energized by the task.  

Ready, credible, and energized. 

Hard to imagine better raw material when it comes to governing during a crisis.