Memorial Day Parade permit approved with cancellation caveat
By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK – It wasn’t business-as-usual at the City Council meeting March 17, as most issues, from a conditional parade permit to delayed rental unit inspects, were impacted by coronavirus concerns.
Both the city’s Memorial Day Parade, scheduled for 2 p.m. May 17, and the Knights of Columbus annual Tootsie Roll sale April 3 to 5, were approved with caveats that they would not take place if social distancing or shelter-in-place restrictions were in still place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Councilman Charles Blevins urged residents to continue watching the city website for updates on the coronavirus pandemic guidelines and restrictions.
“I really hope that during these times, everyone will think about their neighbors and friends, especially when going grocery shopping,” he said.
Blevins urged people to keep in mind those who may be out of a work as well.
Councilman Matthew Valerius encouraged residents to patronize restaurants that had to close their dining rooms, by ordering carryout and delivery, and encouraged them to check the lists on local chamber of commerce websites and Downtown Development Authority websites.
“Despite the fact that you might want to stay home and cook your own meals, realize the amount of people that are going to be taking a hit with the closures,” Valerius said.
Councilwoman Pamela Sych said as we deal with confusing and trying times, and a fundamental change to our way of life, people should continue self-distancing, hand washing and staying home.
“I would also like to ask you to be kind to your neighbors and the people that you do meet,” she said. “If someone coughs, it doesn’t mean necessarily that they have the virus.”
Sych also encouraged people to check in on their relatives and friends more often, and to go outdoors.
“Don’t spend all your time watching television and worrying,” she said. “Go out, and get some fresh air, maybe open the windows and let some fresh air into your house.”
She also encouraged parents to take advantage of the time at home with their children while the schools are closed to teach them something new.
“Teach them how to balance a checkbook, how to knit, how to clean their room right,” she said. “Play games with them, get to know them a little better and view this time as a positive part of the self-quarantine.”
Councilman Gary Schlack reminded residents that even though City Hall will be closed, there will be people available to answer questions by phone. He agreed with Sych, and said now is an ideal time to spend time with children.
“Don’t just sit around, wasting time, and as a great man once said, ‘The only thing we have to fear is … fear itself,” Schlack said, quoting President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Councilman Dan Loyd urged people to stay calm while taking the situation seriously.
“We need to be mindful of how we might potentially spread this,” he said. “I don’t want that to invoke fear. It is just something that, during these times, that we need to be incredibly mindful of.”
Loyd said the big concern will be not the illness itself, but whether we will be able to handle it within our health care system.
“It is definitely not a cause for panic,” Loyd said. “This is a trying time, and as somebody that studies history, we are living through historic times now, and we have always overcome them because everybody has pitched in as a nation to do their part.”
He urged people to call the Michigan Department of Health and Human Resources hotline, 888-535-6136, if they have any questions concerning how the state of Michigan is administering to these issues. He said to contact one’s doctor regarding individual health concerns, and emphasized that one should not go to an emergency room if you think you might have COVID-19.
“These are just very common things that we can try to do to help take part in this as a community,” Loyd said. “We will overcome this as a community and as a nation.”
Councilman Tony Lalli said that even though he is vulnerable to the coronavirus as “the oldest person in the room,” he has decided to think positive. He urged people to limit the time they spend watching the news and to get outside and walk.
“This is worse than 911,” Lalli said. “Be healthy, be safe, and we will overcome this COVID-19.”
Mayor Gail McLeod said the city will continue to post information on the city Facebook page and the city website. She encouraged residents to use online forms to conduct city business, and to consider the city’s automatic payment plans, which are available to pay water bills and property taxes.
“We will continue to keep everyone apprised of what’s going on,” McLeod said. “I know we will get through this. We just need people to be mindful of what they do, and how they are doing it, and how they interact with others.
“Take the necessary precautions, but don’t forget to live your lives, and don’t forget to have faith, and don’t forget to have a little humor, and I hope everyone gets through this in a healthy, happy manner.”