To the editor: Let me get this straight about what the DN-M is reporting … The Borough Assembly passed an ordinance 5-4 and it is vetoed the next day because some people confuse “freedom” with “anarchy” or “ignorance?”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and national medical personnel are trying to stop a pandemic (“PAN-,“ a prefix that means “everywhere, all over,” as in PanAmerican, an airline that used to stop in Fairbanks daily on the way from New York City to Tokyo, Japan) and five of nine elected officials voted “yes” to a proposed rule requiring all attendees in borough chambers to wear a disease prevention mask.
Certainly, participation via public radio broadcast and telephone or Zoom participation is possible for persons unable or simply unwilling to wear a medical prevention mask.
I listened on the public radio broadcast last Thursday night and heard Borough Assembly member Tammie Wilson ask several times, “What if somebody doesn’t wear a mask? What happens then?” Assemblyman Jimi Cash said he would defy the resolution and would not wear a mask and “You will have to remove me.” They won’t have to as he wouldn’t be let in in the first place.
Obviously, according to the proposed ordinance, entrance to the chamber will be denied. If they wish to testify they can do so as described above. If they don’t have a telephone or cell phone, they can write down their statement/opinion/question and give it to the officer in the lobby. Or mail it to the Borough Assembly, as many do already. Freedom of speech is part of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Forcing oneself into a public meeting in a crowded room without a prevention mask during a spike in cases during a pandemic is not only ignorant, it is stupidity in action.
To veto an ordinance passed by the majority simply because one is running for re-election is inadequate and should require a public explanation. “Arbitrary and capricious” is unacceptable in a democratic republic at the local, state and national level.