COMMENTARY KEN and DEBORAH DAIGE
Editor’s note: Ken Daige is a former member of Vero Beach City Council; Ken and Deborah are longtime residents. He was in attendance at the last City Council meeting.
“Government for the people by the people.”
If this were so and if folks voted as such – would our lives be better for it? We know a dozen or so people who spoke at City Council Tuesday were against a face mask mandate. But how many of the 400 emails City Council received yesterday were in favor of wearing face-coverings?
City council has a functional mandate from the state which in part states – “for the health, safety, and general welfare…”
That’s it. All else is added by city-council-of-the-day.
A face-covering mandate can be created without criminal or civil penalty. There is something to be said for treating folks as adults. Other action can be taken later if those folks act otherwise.
On any given day, yard, landscape, construction and other professions frequently wear face-coverings for extended periods to protect themselves from environmental contaminants. We are living during a moment of national, state and local health emergency that has also created a negative economic impact.
The Surgeon General and now the President have expressed the need for face masks because the virus has not been eradicated. We are living with its effects now and sometime into the future.
What do we do with that information?
Well, Indian River County has taken less-restrictive but stronger stated steps than City Council has. City council has not taken purposeful action – “for the health, safety, and general welfare…” even after numerous city council meetings.
Meaningful discussion followed by a common sense motion that can be acted upon has not occurred. Instead there is inaction, pontificating, and pats-on-the-back for inaction.
Health, safety, general welfare. What is there not to understand?
Of course, the US Constitution is to be considered, but States’ Rights is something the US Constitution acknowledges belongs to the States. And our State mandates protecting its populations’ health, safety and general welfare.
Face-coverings are only part of a considered solution to our current pandemic because no one has all the answers at this moment in time. Surely there is someone on our City Council who can put forward a common sense motion about face-coverings, one that has a sunset clause, a health mandate that puts pontificating and political philosophies aside – for the people.
Ken & Deborah Daige
Opening statement of the Constitution of the United States:
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
A general welfare clause is a section that appears in many constitutions and in some charters and statutes that allows that the governing body empowered by the document to enact laws to promote the general welfare of the people, which is sometimes worded as the public welfare. In some countries, it has been used as a basis for legislation promoting the health, safety, morals, and well-being of the people governed by it.