Requiring wearing masks creates division

| July 15, 2020 1:00 AM

I attended the Whitefish City Council meeting on July 6 and addressed the mask wearing resolution.

After hearing quite a few arguments, by many citizens and a few business owners, supporting the postponement and or cancellation of the resolution the Council appeared not to have heard anyone and voted for the resolution. We were told that 528 letters were written to the City Council regarding the resolution with 348 letters supporting the resolution and 163 letters against the resolution. The council used these numbers as their argument that the community wants this resolution in place.

What the City Council did not take into effect is a petition with an additional 520 signatures against the resolution. When taken into account these signatures, a total of 683 community members are not in favor of the mask resolution. Keep in mind, this resolution did not appear to be made public until the day of the City Council meeting.

Why did the City Council not give ample time for citizens and business owners to write letters and arrange to attend the meeting? Why so clandestine? Makes one wonder.

As I said at the Council meeting, this mask wearing mandate is going to divide this community like we have never seen. We, who watch the science and know that asymptomatic and healthy people do not spread the virus, will not be wearing masks. I continued stating that those with masks will be looking down on and judging others without masks as insensitive and lacking compassion, and selfish, which, is so far from the reality.

This division was only confirmed by the statements of several council members. Ryan Hennen said, “Masks are a sign of compassion.” Is it implied that no mask equals no compassion?

Ben Davis said, “This is not about me.” If I am healthy or asymptomatic, and need not wear a mask, am I insensitive? Andy Feury stated, clearly, “Stop being selfish.” Those donning masks are selfless and those without are selfish?

The division I was talking about started long before, but proof of its growth was apparent at the Council meeting. Stop the madness, stop the masks!

Republican Catherine Owens is running for House District 5.