Dauphin & Lebanon Counties say they will proceed through “Red” to “Yellow” with or without Pennsylvania’s power couple’s permission.
“Lebanon District Attorney Pier Hess Graf… will not prosecute any businesses that wish to reopen and may be cited by Pennsylvania State Police or other agencies.”
Commissioner says Dauphin County will move to yellow phase May 15; Wolf hasn’t said they can yet, though
Penn Live|13 hours ago
A small but growing number of county officials are challenging Gov. Tom Wolf’s control of the state’s staged, regional reopening from the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, with majority commissioners in two midstate counties unilaterally declaring Friday that they will consider their counties in the “yellow” phase of the state’s reopening plan effective May 15.
Letters from a group of Lebanon County officials and Dauphin County Commissioner Jeff Haste echoed a similar protest from Beaver County, the only county in western Pennsylvania to be excluded from Wolf’s announced extension of first-phase reopening steps in southwestern Pennsylvania next Friday.
In addition, sheriffs in Perry and Cumberland posted Facebook notices stating that they would not be a part of enforcing business shutdown orders.
While Wolf’s business closure orders have generated heavy criticism from various quarters of of the state and business community in recent weeks, thus far there has been general, if at times grudging, cooperation from county and municipal officials.
The Lebanon and Dauphin officials’ declarations – which apparently have not yet been backed up by any board votes – may be the first formal break with Wolf’s plan.According to The Lebanon Daily News, the county commissioners discussed the possibility of drafting a resolution to “reopen” parts of Lebanon County’s economy at their meeting on Thursday, but did not proceed with a motion on the matter.
The Lebanon news outlet also reporter, however, that Lebanon District Attorney Pier Hess Graf did say in a separate news release Friday her office will not prosecute any businesses that wish to reopen and may be cited by Pennsylvania State Police or other agencies.
Graf stated that she received an influx of messages from local business owners after Wolf announced counties in the red phase would be under a stay at home order until early June. People were concerned the additional month under the order would do irreparable damage to their businesses, she said.
“Effectively the governor’s orders revoked our personal freedoms and liberties as individuals,” Graf wrote in her release. “The essential question is how do we as a society weigh the need for the economic success of those around us against the community’s ability to remain safe.”