Gay St-arial
Gay Street closure may be good for business, but will it be bad for our health?

As the Borough awaits PennDott approval of its plan to close Gay Street through the summer and fall, the descent among Borough Council members boiled over this week with the resignation of Ward 7 Councilwoman Denise Polk.

After initially voting with the rest of Council to close the street at a special June 9 meeting on the topic, she later reversed her vote when the topic was raised for final approval at the full Council meeting later that month.  In a letter addressed to Borough Council, Borough Manager Mike Perrone, and Mayor Dianne Herrin and shared with her neighbors and constituents, she cited growing concern over escalating cases of COVID-19.

“The growing numbers, and recent shutdowns of re-openings suggest we are not making the right decision,” she said. She also suggested businesses be asked to contribute 10 percent of their profits towards PPE.

According to the Chester County Health Department COVID-19 dashboard, positives in the county are finally starting to decline after remaining quite high throughout most of the month of June. However, West Chester retains one of the highest infection rates in the area. Representing only .6 percent of the population, the Borough has 133 reported COVID-19 cases and 19 deaths. Compare this to Kennett Square which has 183 reported cases and one death but represents nearly 3 percent of the population and Downingtown which represents .79 percent of the population and has 63 cases and one death. 

Here’s Denise’s full letter: 

Denise Polk resignation letter

Whether the closure goes through or not, one thing we can learn from other reopenings is clear, vigilance is key. We all need to stick to the basics, social distancing, mask-wearing, and a little caution or we’ll end up right back where we started, and I am not sure my coffee habit (or my sanity) can handle it.

Live in Ward 7 and interested in joining Borough Council? Council is accepting applications through July 10. Bonus, if you are a female or a minority. Denise represented Borough Council’s only female voice and there are currently no members of color either. Just sayin’.  

Not sure what Ward you are? Here you go. Plus, the latest on the Gay Street closure

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