Good news. But first, the bad news. Last Friday, the Town Council voted 4-3 to ignore all the warnings from the scientific/medical community and allow a “no mask in public places” policy to be initiated. This in the face of almost all of the rest of the state mandating masks by the time of the council vote on Friday, including Phoenix, Tucson, Scottsdale, Tempe, Surprise, Peoria, Gilbert, Mesa, Avondale, Glendale and Flagstaff. Those cities alone represent approximately 90 percent of the population of Arizona.
Those voting to risk the lives of all Fountain Hills residents were Art Tolis, Dennis Brown, Mike Scharnow and David Spelich, with Tolis making the motion and Brown seconding it. Is it hyperbole to suggest that lives have been risked?
Facts: At the end of May there were 4,000 new cases per week. This past Friday and Saturday there were over 3,000 new cases per day. What about increased testing you ask? In the last three weeks testing is up 17 percent, whereas cases/100k has quadrupled(400 percent). Patient load in all Banner hospitals has tripled in the last three weeks and ICU beds are around 85 percent capacity and climbing.
Why have these public servants taken this action? Tolis explained, “I believe in personal freedoms,” begging the question, what about the unalienable right to life in the Declaration of Independence? Scharnow said, “I don't want our police to have to enforce this.”
Now the good news. The terms of Tolis and Brown expire in December and they are not running for re-election. They are the last of the group which included Mayor Kavanagh and Cecil Yates, responsible for the Green Monster, kangaroo court, the lagoon and Daybreak. The great transparent and inclusive leadership of Mayor Dickey, including responsible funding decisions and hometown values, can now proceed unencumbered.