Editor’s Note: InMaricopa.com is publishing the author’s letter to city councilmembers, and copied to local media, in the interest of transparency. As we prepared to publish the letter Wednesday afternoon, the author let us know he did not want it published as an opinion article. We respected his request. He subsequently talked to another media outlet about the letter, so we feel compelled to publish now to show InMaricopa is being transparent on the issue.
I am writing to you in response to Councilmember Vincent Manfredi’s post on Facebook. He is supporting the idea of opening up the city’s amenities, even while the Governor still has a Stay at Home order active. He is further urging members on Facebook to email this address, perhaps in hopes of creating public pressure on you to open up these activities again.
I am disgusted.
I am a homeowner in a large community, whose amenities have been closed during this pandemic. I fully support this closure and the closure of the city’s amenities to ensure that the public remains safe (or as safe as can be). It is simply a false choice to suggest that “If you don’t think that they should NOT be open my suggestion would be, don’t use them” as he suggests in his statement. The false choice is that if you do not agree with him, that opening public amenities during a pandemic and active Stay at Home order is a fine thing to do, that you just don’t participate.
According to demographic numbers, approximately 30% of our City’s population is over the age of 50. This puts our city more at risk than Tempe, Chandler, and Gilbert due to the amount of adults that are at a higher risk to contract serious health issues from COVID19. This does not even include those members outside this range who are at a higher risk due to preexisting health conditions (of which, my family has several). City residents look to it’s leadership in times of crisis. I think we all agree here that we are in unprecedented times. I could cite other state Governors opening up their states in what some would call a “premature” fashion. But these are not other states. This is Arizona.
The fact is that Governor Ducey still has an active Stay at Home order, with restrictions starting to ease slowly over the coming weeks. Councilmember Manfredi, in his attached statement, is using a Political, Public page. One might argue due to the title and names he uses that it is his Official Councilmember profile. If so, I find it extremely disheartening that a representative from the City of Maricopa would use their Official Councilmember page to advocate for the direct violation of an Executive Order that is designed to protect its inhabitants during a health crisis.
I am not saying that there is not a time or place for getting some fresh air; of course there is. In my neighborhood one can drive around the block and see plenty of people who are running or exercising. Unlike using many of the city’s amenities, there are areas to naturally stay away from others. The fear of many is that by opening up the city amenities, you create an opportunity for a petri dish of disease. I know that Maricopa does not want to be seen as having an outbreak occur because of something entirely preventable. One example of this mistake would be in New Orleans, LA; where that city was inundated by sick residents flooding their hospitals after gatherings occurred. This is an extreme example of course, because there was also a parade involved. But we can’t handle even a fraction of a percentage of that rush in our local Banner clinic.
In closing, I support the continued closure of the city of Maricopa’s amenities. Should the Council act with caution, history will judge your actions kindly. Should the Council act with haste, there is a short term gain, with the possibility of a longer, larger term loss.
Feel free to reach out with any followup concerns or questions. I have lived in this great city since 2006. While that may not be as long as many residents, I do not want Maricopa to be the example – for all the wrong reasons.
Full disclosure: Councilmember Vincent Manfredi is minority owner of InMaricopa.