Editor’s Note: The following letter was sent Saturday, March 28 to county commissioners.

I am asking for a temporary ordinance, to be concurrent with Franklin County ordinance 2020-08, or any new ordinance that follows that restricts or shuts down the businesses in Franklin County, to require the Franklin County board of county commissioners to each give 20 percent of their individual paychecks to a fund for Franklin County private businesses and their employees.

This percentage is an average revenue that business owners say they will lose due to the shutdown to date. It will be a 100 percent loss for their employees who are let go because no revenue is coming in to operate the business. The fund can be called the Adopt a Business or Business Employee Displaced by COVID-19. This would help the employees and business owners to be able to buy groceries, pay for essential items, and just take care of those who are not receiving a paycheck. It also would provide an incentive, to evaluate ordinances and their consequences, essentially to have some skin in the game, that is equal to that of the businesses and business employees. County employees are voluntarily invited to participate.

Another option is for all Franklin County Board of County Commissioners to forgo receiving their salary for as long as businesses are closed due to ordinance. This sets an example of “we are all in this together,” rather than “do as I say, but not as I do.”

As a full time resident of St. George Island, taxpayer, and citizen of Franklin County, I am concerned about the impact on our business owners due to county, state, and federal government reaction to the COVID-19 virus. I am also concerned about someone, anyone, contracting and subsequently dying from this virus. To date, we have seen in Franklin County, ordinances that address the virus curve without addressing the economic curve.

If we really are a community that cares about our residents, those who are not losing their taxpayer- provided paychecks need to “pay it forward,” and help with financial assistance to our businesses and their employees. We pray it is only temporary.

Brenda Karlin

St. George Island