KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (WATE) – Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs along with 54 other Tennessee County mayors signed a letter to Governor Bill Lee and other state officials condemning what they called on the federal government’s overbreadth and encouraging the governor “to preserve the rights of the citizens of our counties” regarding health issues and COVID-19.
Last month, the mayor said in another letter that Knox County would not comply with OSHA’s upcoming rule for COVID-19 vaccine warrants that was announced by the administration of US President Joe Biden .
Jacobs tweeted the letter early Monday morning. The letter, according to the mayors, is meant to serve as a “critical notice of concern for the government’s over-structural reach.” He also identified issues they agreed to in a different letter from Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery.
Several mayors from northeast Tennessee County were among the signatories to the letter, including Carter County Mayor Patty Woodby, Greene County Mayor Kevin Morrison, Johnson County Mayor Mike Taylor, the Sullivan County Mayor Richard Venable, Unicoi County Mayor Garland âBubbaâ Evely and Washington County. Mayor Joe Grandy.
âAs county mayors, we have worked diligently throughout the pandemic to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19, as have many employers across Tennessee,â the letter reads. “While we have taken many proactive steps, including coordinating with various agencies for COVIDE-19 testing and widespread vaccine distribution, we believe that a vaccine mandate is at least counterproductive, and at most, legally and constitutionally inappropriate. ”
The letter also addresses possible staff shortages “which can only be magnified in critical areas of society – from healthcare to law enforcement and EMS, to supply chain delivery due to many employees in these sectors who have openly expressed their willingness to leave these essential jobs due to this mandate.