Mayor Kling recorded a video message and it can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AIOn3iBjWw&t=6s.
The below text has been altered slightly for print.
As we enter into the holiday season, I wanted to take a few minutes to share some thoughts. First, Happy Thanksgiving. While this year may be a little different, let’s find those things we can be thankful for and pause from our work for a day to rest and be thankful. I’m thankful that I live in Idaho, a state that does support our freedoms, for our wonderful community and for my family.
With the past months that have been so challenging and divisive, I want to let you know that I have been listening to what our community is saying.
Our nation and our community is very divided related to how we should deal with this pandemic. About half of our population thinks one way and the other half thinks another. Even families are divided on how we approach and deal with COVID. Please remember that it’s challenging for leaders to represent people that are truly divided.
The one thing we can all agree on is we do not all agree – and that we’re all tired of dealing with the coronavirus.
There is a lot of information and misinformation online, and sometimes it’s hard to know what to believe. We know this: COVID is a new (novel) virus and we’re all learning more about it every day and we are learning it together.
We, myself as Mayor and the City Council, have not mandated masks for Nampa. While I strongly encourage our community to wear masks, it’s not a mandate. We want to keep our businesses open, people employed and our economy moving forward…and to do that we need to slow the spread. Rather than focusing on the controversy of whether masks work or don’t work, there are other ways to help protect against the spread of COVID.
We must all help and work together to protect the vulnerable, and we don’t always know who is vulnerable. We need to slow the spread to not overwhelm our hospitals and health care providers and to get out kids back in school.
This coming month, with kids again doing school from home, it’s a time that we will spend more time together at home as families, and for most that is wonderful. For some, it’s a difficult and stressful time.
Rather than turning neighbors in for not wearing masks or following certain rules, let’s see how we can support each other during this difficult time. We could choose to believe the best and not the worst about someone. We could choose to love and care for, not just ourselves and those we agree with, but even those that could be considered as enemies.
I do believe we all have the responsibility to look out for the best interests of our neighbors and our community. I believe we can come together and move past this and that Nampa can be a positive example because we’re better together than divided.
While we have not issued mandates in Nampa, please, join me in recommitting to slowing the spread, sharing personal responsibility by each of us doing our part…and doing our part may be staying home with even the smallest symptom, and maintaining more than six feet of distance if you can’t wear a mask.
Not because someone is making you, because someone is asking you – I’m asking you…on behalf of those who can’t. On behalf of families who have lost loved ones to this illness. On behalf of our vulnerable populations. On behalf of businesses who have closed their doors or lost their retirement because of COVID. On behalf of those waiting to see a doctor or those whose elective, yet needed, surgery has been postponed, due to lack of capacity in our hospitals.
Our hospital workers are tired, and some are overwhelmed. As a community, we need to commit to slow the spread to help those caring for our sick. We’re all tired of this and want to move on, but it’s difficult to move forward in different directions. With a vaccine on the horizon, we will get through this and be stronger and will have made some positive changes because of this pandemic.
Let’s not allow our community to be divided, but rather let’s lay down our disagreements and come together during this challenging time. Even though this year may be different, enjoy this holiday season - don’t lose hope! May God bless you and may God bless our community.