By John Kanelis
If I were sitting in Collin County Judge Chris Hill's chair at this moment I might be inclined to tell Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins to mind his own bee's wax.
Then again, were I occupying Jenkins' chair, I might respond with, "Hey, Chris, we're all in this together. I'm looking out for everyone in the region. That includes the residents of Collin County."
Jenkins took part in a conference call among local county judges and local health officials who were meeting to discuss the coronavirus pandemic; Hill didn't take part. Jenkins has issued a shelter-in-place order for all Dallas County residents, essentially ordering all non-essential businesses to close; Hill has asked folks to stay at home, too, but has kept businesses open.
Jenkins seems to think that his neighboring county judge hasn't gone far enough. So that's why he's admonishing Collin County residents to stay at home while scientists, doctors, first responders answer the call to battle against the coronavirus.
Hey, I live in Collin County. I am heeding the advice given by Judge Jenkins. As for Judge Hill, well, he ought to rethink his reluctance to order the closure of those businesses.
As the Dallas Morning News has reported: Asked about the call with the hospital executive, Hill said it was accurate that he didn’t participate but that he had participated in two other calls with county judges Thursday that Jenkins didn’t take part in. "We need regional cooperation right now in North Texas," Hill said. "And I urge Judge Clay Jenkins to reconsider his position."
I need not remind anyone that the coronavirus cases in North and Northeast Texas are growing rapidly. Accordingly, as a taxpaying constituent of Chris Hill, I hereby ask him to rethink his position.
We have plenty of "regional cooperation" in North Texas, even with Clay Jenkins' apparent scolding.
John Kanelis, former editorial page editor for the Amarillo Globe-News and the Beaumont Enterprise, is also a former blogger for Panhandle PBS in Amarillo. He is now retired, but still writing. Kanelis can be contacted via Twitter @jkanelis, on Facebook, or his blog, www.highplainsblogger.com. Kanelis' blog for KETR, "Piece of Mind," presents his views, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of KETR, its staff, or its members.