At age 80-plus, and with more than one underlying medical condition, masks are currently a life and death matter for me. Silence is no longer an option.

Last Friday night, an email from The Fountain Hills Times arrived in my inbox at 4:50 P.M. The newspaper quotes a Town Council member as saying, “I believe in personal freedoms and I am not going to force anyone to wear a mask.” Even if it would help save residents’ lives? Your personal freedoms trump public safety in our town? This is your idea of leadership? I would remind you of an old saying, “Your freedom to wave your hands around ends where my nose begins.” The same is true for your potentially viral water droplets.

If you think you are going to build a robust economy in Fountain Hills by announcing to the world that this town cares more about individual personal freedoms than it cares about the public safety of its residents, please produce evidence of that strategy producing positive economic results.

Another member is quoted as saying, “I don’t want to put MCSO in a position of having to enforce this.” Seems unlikely, given the current sheriff’s public commitment to Fountain Hills residents to “serve and protect.” Protect, mind you, not dominate. Do you think our current sheriff can’t handle this emergency order? Is second-guessing MCSO leadership your idea of leadership?

For a variety of reasons, I have recently asked myself if Fountain Hills is a good place for my wife and I to live out the remainder of our lives. This Town Council vote has provided an answer to that question. A town that values hazardous personal freedoms more than human life is not a place I want to live.