West Virginia, as we all know, is taking quite a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic. During a time of uncertainty, struggle, and loss, many of us are looking for answers to how we can bounce back, or how we can find relief in such a difficult time. Many businesses are failing. Our friends and family who own these small businesses who were once booming are now losing out on their hopes and dreams of entrepreneurship.
It has come to my attention that our state leadership is currently sitting on roughly $800,000,000 of unspent CARES money. This is not being talked about in a public manner simply due to the fact that this money does not want to be moved. Our city, as well as our county, has been kept in the dark on this money. There have been numerous attempts to reach out to the governor’s office on a city and county level, and we have been told that we cannot receive the assistance.
It is disgusting to see that our own state government is not lending a helping hand from this fund to the 55 counties that keep this state going. I am sure instead, it is being sat on and hoarded for municipalities of their choosing, and counties that desperately need it are going to be left in the dark, just as we have been.
As I write this, we have 20 days until this needs to be spent, or it will be given back to the federal government. I hate that it took us being tipped-off by a neighboring municipality to apply for these funds. We, as West Virginians, should expect and deserve better. Not as Republicans and Democrats but as West Virginians.
I cannot help but to think of the small business owners and families that are currently hurting. During a time where giving and loving one another is such a common theme, we are being left in the dark and cheated for the betterment of a special group of people and a political agenda. This, in itself, is a humanitarian issue, not a political one.
Cody Greathouse is an educator with Mason County Schools and represents the Third Ward on Point Pleasant City Council.