Elmhurst Mayor's Letter Sparks Reaction

David Giuliani

ELMHURST, IL — Elmhurst Mayor Steve Morley's call on Monday for Gov. J.B. Pritzker to quicken the pace of reopening the state's economy generated a lot of discussion online. In a public letter Monday, Mayor Steve Morley said the problems with the coronavirus in Chicago should not hold back the reopening of suburbs such as Elmhurst.

Morley found a lot of support online, although some residents differed with him. The governor is calling for opening the economy in phases on a regional basis. The collar counties are in the region with Chicago.

"Great job, Steve," one resident said on the Elmhurst Patch comment board. "Other mayors should be stepping up for their communities — and many are — and we can bring (the governor's stay-at-home) order to an end."

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On the comment board, a woman said the state should not see the battle against the coronavirus as a black-or-white choice between staying closed or condemning everyone to death by COVID-19.

"My view is that we are all very intelligent human beings and think long and hard about what is responsible for ourselves, those we love and our community, and we do that based on our unique situations and pain," she wrote. "Now that things have chilled out some and we understand the virus better, I believe it is no longer necessary for Pritzker or anybody to control or mandate responsibility — we are all capable of being responsible and thoughtful."

Another resident noted the local number of coronavirus cases was still increasing, rather than flattening or declining.

"Does the good mayor plan on building a wall around the city to keep surrounding towns' residents from spending money here? Many towns have greater case counts," the man wrote. "It's the easiest job in the world to criticize. We're all in this together!"

A woman said it was clear Morley had not lost any friends or family to the coronavirus.

"Every day, our count increases because people like the mayor are impatient and want to continue the spread rather than stop the spread like the occupant in the White House," the woman said. "If people get sick and go to work daily and spread the virus, businesses have to shut down and call in a hazmat team to disinfect the entire place and put warnings up to alert the public that the business has been infected. Will the mayor be so transparent or hide the information from the public? Does he want these want to own future death and continuous spread in our community?"

Others were skeptical of continuing the stay-at-home order.

"If we are in such dire straits, why are they closing down that pop-up hospital at McCormick Place. Shouldn’t it be packed?" a man asked on Elmhurst Patch's Facebook page.

Another Elmhurst resident wrote, "In general, Elmhurst has a better educated population and people will take the proper precautions. We have extraordinary problems if we blindly allow our economy to crash. Total social chaos will occur and crime will be out of control."

This article originally appeared on the Elmhurst Patch