Alger Mayor James Summa regularly drives about town, keeping abreast of the constantly evolving situation in his village - Ada Herald
Alger Mayor James Summa regularly drives about town, keeping abreast of the constantly evolving situation in his village. (Ada Herald/Joe Schriner)

Okay, amidst the coronavirus pandemic, we know what New York City is doing, what Chicago is doing, what Atlanta is doing… But what about, say, a small village like Alger, Ohio, population 847?

Alger’s Mayor James “Von” Summa explained.

He said that since the beginning of the crisis, he has stayed on top of it by following, for instance, all the reports and directives coming out of Columbus.

Mayor Summa said that while most directives were fairly clear, he was a bit confused with a few things at the outset — that is when you do the math.

He said in one of the first series of directives, it was recommended gatherings have no more than 10 people. In tandem, those people needed to stay six feet apart for “social distancing” purposes. He then smiled and said that calculating that out, if 10 people were gathering indoors “…you’d need a room the size of a gymnasium.”

Overall, however, Mayor Summa said he’s been quite impressed with Ohio Governor Mike Dewine and his response to the crisis.

Concurrently, Mayor Summa said, like many villages/towns across the board in Ohio, his village has followed all the mandates and suggestions. Downtown Alger businesses have shut down. The 235 Grill Restaurant is only doing carry out. And the gas station in town is still open.

The Social Center and Community have also been shut down.

What’s more, the mayor periodically drives about Alger checking on things in general, making sure there are no social gatherings, if you will, on the streets, and so on. (Something, well, New York Mayor Bill Deblasio is probably not doing.)

“Alger is somewhat like a ghost town right now,” said Mayor Summa.

He is one year into his second term as mayor, has recently retired as a technical director in the paint industry, and looks at his mayoral job as pretty much “full-time” now.

Besides the Ohio Statehouse response to this, Mayor Summa said he has been quite impressed with the county-wide response to the pandemic. He said he has been to three Hardin County meetings so far that have included mayors, council people, EMT representatives, police chiefs, sheriff’s department representatives, healthcare workers…

What’s more, the mayors of the various small villages in the area have set up an ad hoc group to liaison about the current crisis in regard to coordinating collective responses, and such.