Huber Heights declares all workers in the city are essential

Huber Heights city council meeting from Jan. 11, 2021. Huber Heights has been holding their meetings virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. EILEEN MCCLORY STAFF
Huber Heights city council meeting from Jan. 11, 2021. Huber Heights has been holding their meetings virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. EILEEN MCCLORY STAFF

Huber Height City Council has declared anyone who works in the city — no matter what kind of business — is an essential worker.

“It’s a statement and declaration that at the local level, we recognize all jobs in all businesses as essential,” City manager Rob Schommer said.

The measure does not overturn any state or U.S. rules around the pandemic, Schommer said. If restaurants and bars in Ohio are ordered to shut down again, the proclamation would not mean those businesses would stay open.

City council voted unanimously for the measure.

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Essential workers were designated in Ohio in the spring of 2020 as places that could remain open and operating during the beginning of the pandemic. The list included grocery workers, pharmacists, doctors, food workers, gas stations and many more.

Schommer said the classification of essential versus nonessential work was something imposed on Huber Heights from a higher level of government, without consideration on the impact on the community.

“As far as the guidelines for us, that all jobs are essential, because if a job puts food on somebody’s table and provides somebody to get health care, provide food, provide home, shelter, all of those quality of life issues, that is essential,” he said.

He noted that Huber Heights city council supports local businesses, and worked to create outdoor dining spaces and other measures after initial restrictions were lifted.

“None of this is to contradict any of the great efforts taken by the state to take the time and create the time to evaluate the circumstances that we faced,” Schommer said.

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