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Ask The Mayor: Columbus' Lienhoop On New Vaccination Age Limit, Urban Grocer Development

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Unknown Speaker
Looks like we're recording. Well, hello, once again, we begin with a new month. It's the month of February with Columbus mayor, Jim linna. pillow and looking forward to talking again.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, it's February today is we're talking it's Groundhog Day. So I hopefully by the time people will, you know, see us here, you know, things will have changed a little bit will have moved on. But But yeah, it's it's kind of cold outside kind of snowy. But as I mentioned earlier, we've got all the snow pushed to the side that a little bit ice to deal with. But nothing I don't think we can manage that or can't manage through. So we'll wait for the next door.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, how many inches? Did you guys get a snow?

Unknown Speaker
To?

Unknown Speaker
Okay, yeah.

Unknown Speaker
They're really the problem is, maybe earlier in the in the weekend, it snowed and then it rained a little bit. And once the snow gets heavy, it can be difficult to move. And then of course, when it freezes, or when the temperature gets back below 32. It freezes and outs. It's just a problem to manage. But, but it's sunny today. And so hopefully it'll melt. it'll melt some of that. And we'll just like to say well wait for the next door.

Unknown Speaker
Oh, and I guess I mean, maybe good news is really would this be maybe the first or maybe even second snow event of the season that there haven't been many. So your budget shouldn't be shouldn't be depleted as of yet. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker
we were in good shape. And we've had we've had candidly knock on wood. We've had pretty good luck in my time here mean that we're in our fifth so snow season, and really haven't had to break out the, you know, the real heavy hitters. We, you know, we've got a number of contractors who are on call. Should we need that? And you know, we just haven't had to activate that part of the service service. So, so yeah, we, like I said, knock on wood, we're, we're doing pretty well.

Unknown Speaker
Now the groundhog says what, six more weeks of winter. So we'll see what happens.

Unknown Speaker
I don't know what language you speak. He said something.

Unknown Speaker
Well, probably the biggest news though, this week, the state now allowing those aged 65 and up to register to be vaccinated. We always give this information wherever we are because our newsroom gets flooded with emails. It's our shot, dot i n.gov. You can also call 211. If you're 65 and older to register. So far, though, they're in Columbus, Bartholomew County, how's the vaccination process going there? And I know you're gonna be able to find out soon because you're scared, aren't you? Yeah, I

Unknown Speaker
got registered Monday. So you know, they they opened it up to 65 and older. So there are some advantages to age. Yeah, you know, to get you maybe a little bit, a little bit ahead in the line. But But yeah, they opened it up to 65 and older on Monday. And, you know, it took a little while, maybe a half hour from me and a half hour for my wife, you know, to register. But our appointments are, you know, later this week on Thursday and Friday. And, and most of the people I've talked to have indicated that you go over there to the vaccination site, whichever one you choose, and there are there are a couple you're in and out. It's really not. Not timely, not time consuming. And so yeah, we encourage everybody that that can is eligible to go get vaccinated. Did you register on

Unknown Speaker
the web or the phone?

Unknown Speaker
That the web? Yeah, I n.gov.

Unknown Speaker
And you had no trouble getting through and getting the the time setup

Unknown Speaker
got kicked out once again. But But again, the total time spent was about a half hour apiece, for myself and for my wife.

Unknown Speaker
Last month, every mayor in January I talked to was worried whether there would be enough vaccine, Indiana at the top of the country in vaccinating people, I saw a chart and then that was yesterday. I know that's probably changing. But how are the local people they're stepping up to this mass vaccination process?

Unknown Speaker
Well, the local providers are doing an extraordinary job. I mean, particularly and getting out to some of the shoddy and so the the the nursing homes, I mean that those places have been been administered to. And and I'm the last conversation I had with folks at CRH commerce, regional health, they have never they have not yet wasted a vaccine dose. I mean, they've either had people show up, which they're supposed to do, but in light of cancellations. I mean, they're always able to fill that in with, you know, with someone. And so, so yeah, we're kind of excited about the opportunities, so be able to bring that here in a timely fashion. You know, the the discussions, you know, what you're trying to achieve, I think is what they call herd immunity. And, you know, the numbers vary based upon who you listen to, but my guess is that here in Bartholomew County, we need to vaccinate about 70,000 people, you know, any I mean, again might be higher or lower based on based on who you talk to. The last time I checked, we were right around 2000. So we got a ways to go. I don't want to diminish the challenge in front of us. But but so far the reaction has been strong people are willing to proceed with the vaccine, the process works pretty well. And so we'll just wait our time, but it, you know, leads me into the second conversation, which is, you know, the mask, we're going to continue to have to be attuned to that. Were that for quite a while, like I said, we're, we may be at two or there abouts need to get to 70,000. And so that's going to take several months. In the meantime, are you mask? Yeah. People,

Unknown Speaker
we've had a few emails and people worried they're going to go get their first vaccination, and there's not going to be enough for their second. Are you hearing anything about that? No, no,

Unknown Speaker
we've been told not to worry about that, that that is part of the process. They they understand that providers do that they they have to provide a second vaccine within a certain period of time, and they're prepared to do that.

Unknown Speaker
And we reported on sheriffs and Bartholomew county and Monroe counties asking the state to vaccinate inmates and there was a news report, I believe, just last week about what 50% tested positive in the jail there in Columbus. And, and you know, they're taking precautions and just scary to think how fast this virus can move in contained areas. Have you heard anything more about getting the vaccination to, you know, jails? And I know, that's also been an issue of in nursing homes.

Unknown Speaker
Right, right. No, I have not heard anything anymore about vaccinating jail. So are vaccinating the inmates their jails? But But you're exactly right. I mean, the backs are the the virus gets spread, when we share the same air. And you know that that's going to happen in any enclosed environment. And so a jail is, is just ripe for for the fact but for the virus to transmit one to another. And But no, I have not heard heard any, anything new about that.

Unknown Speaker
We had an email sent in about those who are 65 and older but can't get to a vaccination site, is there someplace in Bartholomew county or Columbus that, that people can get the vaccine taken to them?

Unknown Speaker
I'm not aware that we've got any delivery. We do have the city has a process, excuse me a service offering called call a bus. And so you can call in and get a ride. I think they would, you know, administer take to the vaccine site. But that's that's where I would direct people call our transit system and see if you can't get to get to the site through them. You need to wear a mask. I mean, the President Biden's recent declaration or mandate, you know, affects our transit system. Anything that is federally funded, is picked up in the, in his order. And so that includes the city of Columbus buses and the transfer stations that we've got. But yeah, give that a call. And I'm sure they'll, they'll help you if they can't

Unknown Speaker
hear you lead right into the next question we're getting, to have people wondering, if you do get both of the vaccinations, that must mean you don't need to wear your mask anymore,

Unknown Speaker
we know, we will encourage you, we will ask you to continue to wear your mask until we aren't around. As I said earlier to either my view 70,000 You know, my background is accounting, I like numbers. And I'll know when I'm there when I get to seven and four zeros. But but you can also pay attention to the state's color coded you know, chart for various counties. And when we get the blue, you know, you can you can take your mask off, but but not until then we we really need to diminish the the transmission because, you know, part of what I've read is that the vaccine may prevent you from contracting the virus, but you may still get it and and the vaccine might minimize your symptoms. And it might make the disease a little less severe. But you can still contract it. And so again, all the more reason to wear the mask to protect yourself as well as to protect, you know, transmitting the virus to others. So, so yeah, please continue to wear the mask and, you know, don't don't model bad behavior. You know, for those who, you know, haven't haven't yet had contracted the vaccine, developed the antibodies or had had the vaccine.

Unknown Speaker
We did get an email from Anne just a couple hours ago and just got it in time. She writes 400 mayor's signed a letter saying that they are in need of local relief that's included in the COVID relief package the President Biden has put forward. That relief for states and local governments though is not in the smaller relief package. package that's favored by the 10. Republican senators. Could you ask the mayor where they stand on that relief for local government and whether they sign the letter? So I'm going to ask you that? Well, I

Unknown Speaker
did not sign the letter, because I haven't seen it. I don't know. You know, what? It's typically those kinds of letters are drafted by, you know, some national organization that wants to, you know, promote a particular agenda. And and it may make sense, it may not, but I haven't seen it. So I really don't have an opinion on. What,

Unknown Speaker
what about the need of local relief that's included in that package? Is that something that you would sign or that you're in favor for?

Unknown Speaker
You know, Joe, I'd have to, I'd have to sort of see the bill. You know, candidly, at this point, you know, if I take a real hard look at it, our revenues have not been adversely impacted by by the virus, we've been one of the fortunate ones. And I read something the other day, that indicates that's likely due to the fact that our economy is based heavily on manufacturing. And manufacturing has not had the, the hit, so to speak that other sectors of the economy have, whether particularly those that are reliant upon tourism. So you know, if you're a municipality in Florida, and you make a lot of your money based on tourists, Walt Disney World comes to mind. Yeah, I would imagine you'd be really excited about that. But but we've just not seen that. And so I'd really have to see the bill and understand it a little further before making any comment when we do.

Unknown Speaker
The latest General Assembly, the Indiana news about the cigarette tax increase yesterday, I know you were watching for TIF legislation. And you know, I didn't have to prompt the other mayors, they all said the same unless they listen to the show, too. But they're concerned about TIF restrictions as well. Have you heard anything more in the last month?

Unknown Speaker
No, I haven't really, I know, I know, there's some legislation that's been proposed. You know, tips are what we use to to grow the city, you know, to grow the tax base of the city. And that increase in tax base benefits all of us whether, you know, it might be directly inside the TIF district or it might be outside, you know, we support a business that that comes here inside the TIF district and the hard workers who live outside of it, you know, that, that cause our housing market to increase and, and thereby increase our assessed valuation? Can I the issue you get into is that you can look around the state. And there's two or three places where perhaps tips have been used improperly. And it has angered a couple of state legislators who you want to go up to Indianapolis and fix something that happened. And I'll say in Jeffersonville, but you know, it could have been anywhere, and and then the rest of us pay for it. Because now what we find is that we've got a whole series of restrictions that we have to live with, that just slow everything down and, and make it a little bit more difficult for us to make decisions. And again, it doesn't necessarily change what we're trying to do just, you know, sort of makes that muddies up the waters considerably. So I'm hopeful, you know that the legislature can come to some kind of consensus on an approach that would, you know, rein in some of the bad actors, if you will, but believe the rest of us who really are following the rules and trying to make, you know, positive improvement in our communities, you know, make it easy for us to continue to do our job.

Unknown Speaker
Just a couple city things, I've noticed that I've heard of the developer, flatteries and fiery and Collins being approved for a mixed use housing, urban grocer development, some parking, from what the local paper there says about what $39 million total, but the city is putting some money into that too. Can you maybe explain how that works? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker
it's a little complicated. We may need three or four hours to get through it all here, but there are several components to the financing. One is that we will contribute some ground, you know, there's, on that particular project, I'll say 10 acres, I could be mistaken as to the actual number that have grown on grass. You know, today is just grass. If you look at it, a few trees, that's all east of Lafayette Street and South a second street here in downtown Columbus. We will contribute that ground, which majority of which we didn't pay anything to receive a good portion of it was gifted to the city by the Erwin Sweeney Miller interests. And in many cases years ago, this ground has sat fallow for I'll say 20 years, certainly as long as I can remember. And so now we're happy to have some, you know, an opportunity to do something with it. We have spent some money on it to you know, take care of some some environmental issues that have been existed there. But, but again, the cost of the cost of this land to us, in most cases was zero. Now there are few parcels we bought for a few 100,000 bucks, but, but it's it's sort of minor in the whole scheme of things, there will be a couple million bucks, that the city will contribute to the project, along with the proceeds of a bond that the city will issue and the redevelopment commission will issue and the bond repayment will come from the property taxes that the project generates. So you know, it more or less finances itself by, you know, creating something that we get to tax and then using the tax receipts to pay back the bond, the developer himself will, Paul say, he's going to put in close to 30 million. So again, if it's a $40 million project, or 39, you mentioned, you know, this, the bond will cover a little bit of it. The city, you know, it's going to contribute some cash, the majority of the money comes from the developer. And, you know, what we'll have there is a couple 100 apartments, you know, what we've penciled in right now is 200. But, you know, when they actually design it, it could be 198, or 204, or something like that. And then we also will have a grocery store. You know, as part of that, you may recall a year or so ago, we completed a planning process called envision Columbus. And during envision Columbus, one of the things that came out was, you know, we really need in the downtown area is a what they call an urban grocery, just a grocery store downtown, but one that people could walk to one that would, you know, satisfy perhaps a little bit different needs than some of the big box stores that we have out on the edge of the city. And so, as part of this development, we asked the developer to come forward with a grocery store, concept of response. And they have got an arrangement put together with blooming foods, who I'm sure you're familiar with. And so we hope to have them, you know, in downtown Columbus here sometime, like I said earlier, it might be march of 2022. Before we start construction, but sometime in the future, and I look forward to that they're they represent a little bit different slice of the market and say a Kroger or Walmart. And I think that that would be well received here in Columbus. Plus, we provide, you know, healthy choices for for those people who live within walking distance. They can't get right now. So, so yeah, we're kind of excited about it.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah. Is that blooming foods? Is that in stone? Is that being talked about? Or what's the status of that right

Unknown Speaker
understanding is there's an arrangement between Florida and Collins in blooming foods, and we had meeting with the blooming foods folks a week or so ago and thought it went well. So so we anticipate their their continued participation in the program.

Unknown Speaker
You have a city council meeting tonight, of course, this runs on Wednesday, so it will be last night but you're looking for approval, a new building from city council that will house the probation department. Do you want to talk a little bit about that

Unknown Speaker
here. You know, the mixed use development that we were talking about is east of Lafayette east of the jail and South a second Street. The project we're going to talk about now is north of the jail starts at least north of the jail on a city block that's currently owned by the county. county of Bartholomew uses it for a parking lot. And then there's a building on one corner of that block that houses the probation department. The sign out front says court Services Building or patrolling the county court Services Building. But what goes on inside the building is the probation department and its activities in order to clear that building off of the air and make that ready for for the hotel conference center that we have envisioned. We need to move the probation department and so the redevelopment Commission has purchased the real estate at 555 First Street, which is south of the jail. Okay, now you got it. I know I can get a look confusing here, north, south, east and west. But what we would be doing would be we're gonna be bought already closed on the real estate south of the jail 555 First Street, and we're going to tear that building down and build a new facility, their new building that will house the probation department. We we've already begun demolition on 505 First Street, we've taken out the landscaping and you know disconnected utilities. The next step when we get the appropriate permit from IBM will be to actually demolish the building, which the city of Columbus will do itself. You know, we've got the the ability to tear things down. You know, we're regulars. We're pretty good at the demo work, but we'll take that down and get the site ready for the contractor. So we've signed contracts are prepared to signed contracts with Dunlap. And bars, I think is the name of the electrical contractor. And, you know, our hope is that they start again in March of 2021. Excuse me, we anticipate that being a year long construction process. So in March of 2022, we would image envision moving the probation department from its current location to the new building 555 First Street, at which point then we would raise the existing building there at the corner of third and Franklin. And again, get that site ready for the for the hotel Conference Center. Right. All right.

Unknown Speaker
Well, we'll have lots to talk about that in the coming year and updates. And I know we're out of time. But I have to ask you, if you were able to welcome former Vice President Mike Pence, Karen is family back to Indiana a few weeks ago.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah. Well, I got two things. You know, one was yes, we were able to get out to the airport. And welcome Mike and Karen back to town. You know, the last couple weeks of his time on Office were fairly eventful. And so yeah, it's got to feel good to come home. And and we wanted him to feel feel good about coming home. So. So I tried to get out there to let him know that we're, we're glad you made it out there safely and back here. Second thing is, you know, today's Groundhog Day tonight, we have city council meeting, but we also have State of the City address. And we're doing a little bit differently this year, in the past we've had and we've tried to make an event. This year. It's podcast, in how I recorded it yesterday. It'll go live on the city's website tonight at seven o'clock. And and I guess it's like everything else on the internet. Right? He lives forever. So if you don't see it, Tuesday night, at 7pm, just visit the city's website at any time after that, and you'll be able to watch it.

Unknown Speaker
Any big announcements during the State of the City address tonight?

Unknown Speaker
No, no, there's no big I mean, nothing to talk about. But yeah, we do a couple, you know, a couple of things that we hope that people pick up. One is how truly thankful I am. We are being an administration here at the city of the cooperation that we have received throughout the community. As we've worked our way through this pandemic, we started our first COVID-19 Task Force meeting was February 28. So not quite a year ago. And I think we got on it a little early. We had, you know, some news that had come to us through a couple of channels from Wu Han, and indicated that this is serious, and it's coming your way. So you need to be prepared. And so with about 48 hours notice, we convened a group of leaders throughout the city, education leaders, the healthcare, community, clergy, the social services, folks, we had representatives from industry here, all too, you know, to focus their attention on what we thought was headed our way and and the first big decision that was had to be made, you know, was whether to return from from spring break. Because at that point, we were a couple of weeks away from spring break for Barthelemy consolidated schools. And we wanted the leadership there to give some thought to whether you know, folks should return in return to school and that when they came back, and they concluded No, and, and so it was a really quick pivot for them to go from, you know, 100% in person learning in in about four weeks, you know, two weeks of study, and then two weeks of fall and spring break, to go to 100% elearning. And, and so our, you know, our hats off and what they've been able to do and and I just want to make sure that everybody understands how thankful we are universal in the county. We know, we got some of the problems everybody else does with this virus but right now we're kind of a pinpoint of orange and a see a red. And I think people should feel good about that. I realize a small comfort to somebody who's, you know, fallen victim of the virus but, but we really have done a pretty good job. And you know, the credit goes to those who have stepped up and just made the right decisions, even though they weren't easy, or they might have been costly. So So I tried to get that message across in the State of the City. And I hope I hope I did a good job of it.

Unknown Speaker
Thank you very much for your time. Really appreciate it. Good luck on Thursday. And

Unknown Speaker
for needles I got

Unknown Speaker
there with you there. But we'll hope to see in March.

Unknown Speaker
We'll be there. Thank you.

Unknown Speaker
Thank you. Bye bye.

Unknown Speaker
All right.
Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop

Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop (Zoom)

The mayor is scheduled to get his vaccination Thursday, a COVID relief bill isn't a priority, and a new downtown development has plans for a new Bloomingfoods location.

On this week’s installment of Ask The Mayor, Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop addresses these issues and more. Listen to the full conversation with Indiana Newsdesk anchor Joe Hren by clicking on the play button above, or read some of the questions and answers below. A portion of this segment airs 6:45 and 8:45 a.m. Wednesday on WFIU.

This conversation has been edited for clarity and conciseness.

Hren: The state is now allowing those aged 65 and up to register to be vaccinated. So far in Columbus, Bartholomew County, how's the vaccination process going? And I know you're gonna be able to find out soon.

Lienhoop: Yeah I got registered Monday. And it took a little while, maybe a half hour for me and a half hour for my wife to register. But our appointments are later this week on Thursday and Friday. And, most of the people I've talked to have indicated that you go over there to the vaccination site, whichever one you choose, there are a couple, and you're in and out. It's really not time consuming. And so we encourage everybody that is eligible to go get vaccinated.

Hren: Did you have any trouble registering on the website?

Lienhoop: I got kicked out once. But again, the total time spent was about a half hour apiece, for myself and for my wife.

Hren: Last month, every mayor I talked to was worried whether there would be enough vaccine. Indiana is at the top of the country in vaccinating people, I saw a chart yesterday. I know that's changing, but how are local people stepping up to this mass vaccination process?

Lienhoop: Well, the local providers are doing an extraordinary job. Particularly and getting out to some of the shut-ins and the nursing homes, I mean that those places have been administered to. And the last conversation I had with folks at CRH, Columbus Regional Health, they have yet wasted a vaccine dose.

The discussions what you're trying to achieve, I think is what they call herd immunity. And, the numbers vary based upon who you listen to, but my guess is that here in Bartholomew County, we need to vaccinate about 70,000 people. The last time I checked, we were right around 2,000. So we got a ways to go. I don't want to diminish the challenge in front of us. But but so far the reaction has been strong, people are willing to proceed with the vaccine, the process works pretty well.

Hren: We've had a few emails and people worried they're going to go get their first vaccination, and there's not going to be enough for their second. Are you hearing anything about that?

Lienhoop: No, we've been told not to worry about that, that is part of the process. They understand that providers do that. They they have to provide a second vaccine within a certain period of time, and they're prepared to do that.

READ MORE: Bartholomew County Jail On Lockdown As COVID Cases Surge

Hren: We reported on sheriffs in Bartholomew and Monroe counties asking the state to vaccinate inmates. Just last week, about 50% tested positive in the jail there in Columbus. Have you heard anything more about getting the vaccination to jails?

Lienhoop: Right, right. No, I have not heard anything more about vaccinating the jail. But you're exactly right. I mean, the virus gets spread when we share the same air. And you know that that's going to happen in any enclosed environment. And so a jail is just ripe for the virus to transmit one to another. But no, I have not heard heard anything new about that.

Hren: We had an email sent in about those who are 65 and older but can't get to a vaccination site, is there someplace in Bartholomew county or Columbus that people can get the vaccine taken to them?

Lienhoop: I'm not aware that we've got any delivery. We do have the city has a service offering 'call a bus.' And so you can call in and get a ride. I think they would take you to the vaccine site. But that's where I would direct people to call our transit system. You need to wear a mask. President Biden's recent declaration or mandate affects our transit system. Anything that is federally funded, is picked up in his order. And so that includes the city of Columbus buses and the transfer stations.

Hren: You lead right into the next question we're getting, if you do get both of the vaccinations, that must mean you don't need to wear your mask anymore?

Lienhoop: We will encourage you to continue to wear your mask until we are to either my view 70,000 vaccinations here. But but you can also pay attention to the state's color coded chart for various counties. And when we get the blue, you can you can take your mask off.

Part of what I've read is that the vaccine may prevent you from contracting the virus, but you may still get it and and the vaccine might minimize your symptoms. And it might make the disease a little less severe. But you can still contract it.

Hren: We did get an email from Ann. She writes 400 mayors signed a letter saying that they are in need of local relief that's included in the COVID relief package the President Biden has put forward. That relief for states and local governments though is not in the smaller relief package that's favored by the 10 Republican Senators. Where do you stand on that relief and whether they signed the letter?

Lienhoop: I did not sign the letter, because I haven't seen it. You know, typically those kinds of letters are drafted by some national organization that wants to promote a particular agenda. And it may make sense, it may not, but I haven't seen it. So I really don't have an opinion.

Candidly, at this point, if I take a real hard look at it, our revenues have not been adversely impacted by the virus. We've been one of the fortunate ones. And I read something the other day that indicates that's likely due to the fact that our economy is based heavily on manufacturing. And manufacturing has not had the hit, so to speak, that other sectors of the economy have, particularly those that are reliant upon tourism.

Rendering of what an urban grocer would look like in Columbus
Rendering from Envision Columbus of what an urban grocer would look like downtown.

Hren: I saw Flaherty & Collins is approved for a mixed-use housing, urban grocer development, some parking, with a total price tag of $39 million, but the city is putting some money into that too. Can you maybe explain how that works?

Lienhoop: It's a little complicated. We may need three or four hours to get through it all here, but there are several components to the financing. One is that we will contribute some ground, I'll say 10 acres, I could be mistaken as to the actual number. If you look at it, that's all east of Lafayette Street and south of Second Street here in downtown Columbus. We didn't pay anything to receive a good portion of it as it was gifted to the city by the Irwin-Sweeney-Miller interests.

Now there are few parcels we bought for a few $100,000, but it's sort of minor in the whole scheme of things, there will be a couple million bucks, that the city will contribute to the project, along with the proceeds of a bond that the city will issue and the redevelopment commission will issue and the bond repayment will come from the property taxes that the project generates. So you know, it more or less finances itself. The developer himself will put in close to $30 million.

When they actually design it, it could be 198 or 204 apartments. And then we also will have a grocery store. The developer has an arrangement with Bloomingfoods, who I'm sure you're familiar with. And so we hope to have them in downtown Columbus here March of 2022. I look forward to that, they represent a little bit different slice of the market to a Kroger or Walmart. And I think that would be well received here in Columbus. Plus, it provides healthy choices for those people who live within walking distance they can't get right now. So, we're kind of excited about it.

Hren: Any big announcements during the virtual State of the City address?

Lienhoop: No, but we do have a couple things that we hope people pick up. One is how truly thankful I am. We started our first COVID-19 Task Force meeting February 28. So not quite a year ago. And I think we got on it a little early. With about 48-hours notice, we convened a group of leaders throughout the city, education leaders, healthcare, community, clergy, the social services folks, we had representatives from industry here too, to focus their attention on what we thought was headed our way and the first big decision that had to be made, was whether to return from spring break.

And they concluded no, and so it was a really quick pivot for them to go from 100% in person learning in about four weeks, two weeks of study, and then two weeks of fall and spring break, to go to 100% e-learning. And, so our hats off and what they've been able to do and and I just want to make sure that everybody understands how thankful we are universal in the county.

We know, we got some of the problems everybody else does with this virus, but right now we're kind of a pinpoint of orange in a sea of red. And I think people should feel good about that. I realize a small comfort to somebody who's fallen victim of the virus but, we really have done a pretty good job. And the credit goes to those who have stepped up and just made the right decisions, even though they weren't easy, or they might have been costly. So I tried to get that message across in the State of the City. And I hope I did a good job of it.

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