Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles said Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Nashville Mayor John Cooper can heal an economy wounded after COVID-19, and Ogles said now is the time to do so.
Simply put, Ogles said Middle Tennessee is Tennessee’s economic engine and what happens there reverberates throughout the rest of the state. He also said it’s time for the state to go back to what life was like February, before COVID-19 impacted the United States. Ogles also said it’s safe to do so.
“The ripples in the pond become a tidal wave, and that is my fear for the first and second quarter,” Ogles told The Tennessee Star.
“I beg our governor and the mayor of Nashville to get this thing open.”
Monday’s Columbia Daily Herald reported that Maury County “has held several major gatherings in recent weeks and continues to see additional transmissions of COVID-19, [but] local state health professionals have not pinpointed a specific event associated with its spread.”
The paper quoted Tennessee Department of Health officials who said “it remains unaware of any specific events or gatherings that have led to the spread of the virus.”
Ogles told The Star Tuesday that Maury County has recently hosted, among other things, a county fair, a GOP Reagan Day Dinner, and an event commemorating 9-11.
“We encouraged people to social distance. We gave people the ability to choose, I have fought to keep our economy open here in Murray County,” Ogles said.
“If you believe that Middle Tennessee is the economic engine of the state of Tennessee then the problem we have right now is that the heartbeat of that engine is shuttered and that is Nashville. Basically, Tennessee’s economy has been handed over to a nice guy but a liberal mayor [John Cooper] who would keep us shut down in perpetuity.”
Ogles said he respectfully calls on Lee “to take the reins to and open up Tennessee 100 percent across the board.”
Ogles also said Tennessee’s public school students are struggling academically by learning at home via tablet.
“Until Nashville Davidson County is open back up all of your collar counties will continue to suffer. You are going to continue to see small businesses closing and my fear is that in the first and second quarter of next year these small mom and pops that are hanging on by a thread are going to have to close,” Ogles said.
“If you look at sales tax revenues from the counties it’s up but the primary beneficiaries of those have been your big box stores. We have got to create an environment where our small businesses can thrive, especially our restaurant and our retail and again you look at the data out of Nashville where they were targeting restaurants and targeting bars and it had more to do with someone’s personal agenda than it did the data.”
Ogles said his primary responsibility is to give Mary County residents a choice.
“I beg the mayor of Nashville to get this thing open,” Ogles said.
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