Any parent knows that setting boundaries is important.
But it’s even more important to enforce those boundaries. Otherwise, no one is in control, and chaos ensues at every dispute.
Same thing goes for the government.
Since when did government’s rules become optional?
Since when did politicians get the right to defy their own government’s requirements and do whatever they want if they don’t like the rule?
Why is it OK for some people to wander into a government building, in which certain rules are in effect to protect the health and well-being others, and simply not follow the same rules that apply to others?
Let’s take the town of Rotterdam as one example.
The town requires that residents entering town hall wear a mask to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
It’s a reasonable health-related requirement that businesses in the state are mandated by the governor to follow and a practice highly recommended by health professionals as one way to help stop the spread.
Yet people in Rotterdam are defying the requirement at every turn, including one of the town’s own council members, Joe Mastroianni, who ironically chairs the town’s — wait for it — health committee!
He’s not saying he has a specific health reason for not wearing a mask. He says he’s making a statement about mandates. But it’s not the statement he thinks it is.
The statement he’s making, for residents and visitors to the town hall, is that if you don’t like our rules, you don’t have to follow them. I’m not following them. So why should you?
So what happened? About 20% of the people attending a recent public hearing weren’t wearing a mask, as required. And people can apparently come into town hall without a mask and not be challenged.
Town Supervisor Mollie Collins’ answer to that is, “How far do we go to attack a resident about the mask regulation?
“That’s the tricky part.”
No. It’s not. It’s not tricky at all.
If the rule is you have to wear a mask in the building, you have to wear a mask in the building. If you don’t want to wear a mask, don’t go into town hall.
And if you do go into town hall without a mask, town officials have the right and obligation to have a police officer or security officer escort you out.
The same goes for Councilman Mastroianni. Why should he be exempt?
There are alternatives for people who don’t want to wear masks in the building.
The councilman can participate in government meetings by Zoom or by phone.
Most citizens’ business with the town can be done by mail, phone or internet.
And government meetings can be viewed remotely. In fact, government boards right now aren’t even required by the state to hold in-person meetings.
If government officials are too timid to enforce the rules they make, then they either shouldn’t make them or they shouldn’t expect anyone to do anything they say.
Every parent knows that setting boundaries is important.
Without them, chaos is bound to follow.