Difficult Decision

The Randolph County Commissioners will have the responsibility of handing out “hero pay” for essential workers in the form of a $100,000 grant from the state, once they have received further clarification from the Governor’s Office.

Gov. Jim Justice has said the county officials will be able to identify the heroes in their areas better than him because of the great work everyone has been doing in their individual counties during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We want to give our counties as much latitude as we possibly can, understanding that $100,000 is not going to take care of everybody and every situation,” Justice said.

Well said, governor! The job of identifying the heroes of the county — and deciding who gets what — will most likely be one of the toughest tasks these county commissioners will ever take on.

It’s still unclear which essential workers will be eligible for the grant’s “hero pay,” but there are certainly many deserving people in Randolph County.

We can’t overlook the heroes on the “front lines” of the pandemic — everyone working at the hospitals, health facilities, pharmacies and all other medical-related operations.

Whenever law enforcement, EMS or Department of Health and Human Resources workers are called into a situation they don’t know whom or what they will encounter. The pandemic has only increased the dangers these heroes face.

The governor stated this week that Work Force West Virginia has processed more than 130,000 unemployment claims this month. Work Force employees are heroes working 10 to 12 hours every day, six days a week, trying to provide benefits for people out of work due to COVID-19, so families can be fed.

All grocery and convenience store employees are also heroes, providing needed food, goods and services to everyone — and these workers come in direct contact with the public every day.

Every resident has been inconvenienced by COVID-19, and there is no question there are many other local heroes beyond those mentioned above who are also deserving of recognition.

Hopefully, after further clarification from the Governors Office, the Randolph County Commissioners will be able to make a wise and fair selection of who will benefit from the hero pay — but to our way of thinking it will be a very difficult decision.


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