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MASKS: Where do leaders stand?

| August 19, 2020 1:00 AM

I have been impressed with the leadership in the city of Coeur d’Alene. The public spaces and outdoor art make the city a beautiful place. I live downtown, yet since COVID-19 began, I have been unable to be part of any downtown activities because I do not feel safe. The streets are crowded with unmasked people who don’t keep social distance. I have written to all six council members and the mayor to express my concerns.

Council member Dan Gookin was the only one who replied to my email about the lack of masks downtown. He expressed his belief that the mask mandate should not be enforced. While I do not agree with him, I respect him because he is the only councilperson who has come forward and at least told his constituents where he stands.

Mayor Widmyer and our council members are the only ones who can tell the city manager and the police department to enforce the mandate. Yet, they remain silent. Perhaps, they are staying quiet because they are afraid taking a stance will hurt their re-election prospects. This is not leadership.

The police have stated that their approach is to “educate people” on wearing masks and social distancing, but I haven’t seen police doing any educating downtown.

To the mayor and City Council, I think you owe it to us to at least have the courage to tell us where you stand.

MARY WARD

Coeur d’Alene