Adam Payne spoke with WHBL and misinformed the station regarding the potential ramifications of proposed Ordinance No. 3. In doing so, he has also misled Sheboygan County residents. We are posting the entire article found on WHBL’s website along with our commentary to illustrate how manipulative and deceptive Payne’s words were when speaking with WHBL.
Here in Sheboygan, we depend on our local news sources such as WHBL, so we are not holding the station accountable for the misinformation supplied to them by Payne. As a community we love WHBL, but we need an equal opportunity to tell our side of the story!
Below you will find the original article published by WHBL on August 19, 2020 in black font. Our commentaries will be in red font.
Payne: There Will Be No Jail, No Forced Vaccinations, No $500 Fines
Sheboygan, WI, USA / 1330 & 101.5 WHBL, Jon DeMaster, Aug 19, 2020 9:36 AM
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. (WHBL) – Sheboygan County Administrator Adam Payne says he was met with between 150-200 demonstrators concerned about the health ordinance that’s now headed for a committee when he arrived at the County Courthouse Tuesday night for the Board’s monthly meeting. Demonstrators expressed concern over the wording of the ordinance, and the state statutes it refers to, saying the biggest concerns were forced vaccinations, jail time, large fines, and the shutdown of businesses the state statute allows for.
Payne says this proposed ordinance, which is now under review, would do the opposite of that – limiting the power that the Health Department has, and allows a set of checks and balances with other departments to keep the community safe from COVID-19. Payne says he agrees that some of the language in the state statute is rather draconian, and scary, and understands how that can contribute to the angst and stress he was met with Tuesday night.
What Adam Payne does not mention is this ordinance was proposed by him; and not a department head or the board, which is unusual. Anyone else curious as to how he came up with this proposed idea?
County Administrator Adam Payne introduced the Committee to the proposed ordinance that would help the County be better prepared if the current pandemic becomes more concerning, and if greater county-wide action needs to be taken.SHEBOYGAN COUNTY HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES COMMITTEE MEETING – 08/14/2020
We spoke about this in our blog post titled Ordinance 3 – What you need to know. WHBL reports that Adam Payne says this ordinance is “limiting the power that the Health Department has, and allows a set of checks and balances with other departments to keep the community safe from COVID-19.” That is an outright lie! The proposed ordinance does NOT limit the power of the Health Department, it gives them enforcement authority they currently do not have. This is greater power, not less. We agree, Adam, the wording is draconian, scary, and brings anxiety to the community. So why did you propose it?
Payne assured demonstrators at the Courthouse, and listeners, that this ordinance will go through the same process other ordinances must follow, going through a period of review and refinement, before coming back to the board for a vote – a process that takes 2 months to complete. He also says the county is far from needing to consider implementing an emergency ordinance as the one proposed. The Health Department has been working closely with local hospitals and says the criteria that would trigger a measure like this is the hospitals being at 50% capacity with COVID-19 positive patients.
Mr. Payne assured us this would go through the same process other ordinances follow (with the exception being that he was the one who submitted it to our local HHS) The average reader will assume that it will be two months before the County Board Supervisors vote on this ordinance, which is untrue. This ordinance was first proposed to the board on August 18th, 2020, and is set to be voted on September 15th, 2020, which is less than one month. The full truth is that this process does take two months from the moment of conceptualization to the moment it is voted on by County Board Supervisors and passed into law. This begs the question: If mid-August was NOT the start of this conversation, when was it begun and with whom?
Likewise, when Adam Payne says “the criteria that would trigger a measure like this is the hospitals being at 50% capacity with COVID-19 positive patients”, the average reader would think that would mean a great number of people. Here is what the proposed ordinance (revised) says:
WHEREAS, the primary hospital system providers in Sheboygan County, Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center and HSHS St. Nicholas, have a combined total of twelve (12) intensive care unit (ICU) beds and twenty-two (22) additional COVID-19 dedicated medical surgical beds available for use, and
WHEREAS, our hospital systems have communicated that if fifty percent (50%) of their ICU beds or COVID-19 dedicated medical surgical beds are filled with COVID-positive patients, it is a key indicator that our hospitals are becoming overwhelmedProposed revised Sheboygan County Ordinance 3
The ordinance implies that there are 34 available beds for COVID patients. One would think this means 50% capacity (or 17 positive patients in the entire county) would be the criteria to trigger a measure like this. Yet, there is the word “or” in the second “WHEREAS”. That could mean as few as 6 COVID-positive patients could trigger this measure.
WHEREAS, in the event Sheboygan County’s hospital systems indicate they have reached the fifty percent (50%) threshold for COVID patients, or if other key monitoring criteria shows a surge in COVID cases, the public health officer may need to enact orders to prevent and suppress the spread of COVID…Proposed revised Sheboygan County Ordinance 3
There is the word “or” again. This additional clause in the proposed ordinance says hospitals at 50% capacity with COVID positive patients is not the only criteria for triggering this ordinance. All it takes is a surge in COVID cases. What defines a surge? Does this give the public health officer authority to enact orders whenever they deem a surge in COVID (or any other communicable disease) is taking place?
Furthermore, Payne goes on to state “the county is far from needing to consider implementing an emergency ordinance like the one proposed.” If this is true, why was this ordinance introduced at a hastily-called “special meeting” of the HHS on a Friday? Why was this the only item on the agenda and why wasn’t it added to the regularly-scheduled meeting held the following Tuesday? If, as Administrator Payne claims, “we are far from needing to consider” such an ordinance, then why couldn’t it have waited for one additional working day to be considered? Why did this entire meeting take only 36 minutes from start to finish if it was supposedly first being introduced?
There is no debate that this ordinance gives unusual arbitrary and punitive enforcement authority to the local health officer, bypassing our local sheriff and other law enforcement agencies. Neither the local health department nor the county board are law enforcement agencies.
Payne also addressed the language in the ordinance that mentions “communicable diseases” and not just COVID-19. He says that if something else rears it’s ugly head, the county may have to do something at that point too, but the issue at hand right now is dealing with COVID-19. Payne stressed multiple times throughout an interview on WHBL Wednesday morning that even if an order was issued, there will not be any forced vaccinations, no $500 fines, no jail time, and the business community is already doing a great job of following the recommendations put forth by the health department, but if there was a business that was knowingly contributing to the spread of COVID-19, and wasn’t taking steps to prevent that, they could be contacted by the Health Department to make necessary changes.
Another tactic Payne uses to deceive Sheboygan County residents is to skim past any contention or concern of the people and direct attention to their fears. What else would rear its ugly head, Adam? COVID-19 has been promoted as the worst pandemic in our lives, yet has a 1/10th of ONE percent mortality rate. Suicide, depression and panic disorder (including ones caused by the fear being pushed by our own government) account for much higher mortality rates. The ordinance being proposed by Adam Payne is terrifying. What is his hidden agenda?
There is a sweeping move across all Wisconsin counties to enact similar ordinances to the proposed Ordinance 3. The Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA) has gone as far as providing legal documents and Order examples for counties to use (GUIDANCE IN IMPLEMENTING REGULATIONS SURROUNDING COMMUNICABLE DISEASES). Governor Evers is attempting to implement his plan to bypass the nullified extended stay-at-home orders by using our local non-elected officials. It appears as though Adam Payne works for Governor Evers, not Sheboygan County residents.