I read the article “City plans special meeting about store closures” on the Sunday paper’s front page with a mixture of amazement, disgust and anger. Mayor Kintigh stated he had received texts and emails expressing concern and distress about Albertsons and Sam’s closures. I wonder, though, if the mayor has considered the role he has played in those closures. As should the City Council, the Roswell Police Department, Sheriff Herrington and the Sheriff’s Office.
Why? Roswell’s leaders have chosen to willfully disregard and refuse to enforce the safety measures that would have kept Roswellians safe. In June, when we were finally allowed to leave our homes and begin returning to life outside, we had 56 COVID-19 cases in Chaves County. Businesses were opening, we were eating out and shopping again and we were on track to bring students back to school. But — mask rules were not enforced, nor were distancing rules. Citizens of Roswell received the message that these rules violated our freedoms, and created a culture of “me” over “we.” As a result, today (Nov. 24), we have 4,094 cases.
The leadership we have had from the top in Roswell/Chaves County has not been leadership at all. Real leaders make difficult and unpopular decisions because that is best for all citizens: “we” versus “me.” Our city/county leaders should be modeling the behaviors rather than flaunting them. Miss shopping? What have you done to ensure workers’ and patrons’ safety? Miss eating out? What have you done to ensure the safety of waitresses/waiters? Miss sending your student to school? What have you done to ensure the safety of teachers, staff and students?
Mayor, City Council, sheriff, you want to blame the governor for our tales of woe. Gov. Lujan Grisham has been proactive in keeping New Mexico citizens healthy so that our hospitals can help those citizens who need it. Thanks to poor leadership, our hospitals are full and healthcare workers are overwhelmed. Students are not at school and I am in my house for Thanksgiving, far from my family.
Masks are not a political statement. It is just a mask. It is a safety measure like social distancing and small gatherings.
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Mayor, sheriff and City Council, do your job. Put “we” before “me.” Behave like leaders and enforce the mandates, and above all, wear your mask! The views expressed are my own, a private citizen.