Dozens of people from Blair, Fort Calhoun, Tekamah and the surrounding Omaha metro area packed into the Blair Public Library and Technology Center last week to voice their opinions on a proposed mask mandate.
City officials explained how the meeting would be run. Then, one by one, unmasked opponents and masked proponents said their piece. After each speaker, applause was given.
There was no fighting, no yelling. Each side was respectful of the other.
“I was greatly encouraged because it didn't matter what side of the fence you were on about the mask mandate, everybody was respectful,” council member Andrew Schank said during the meeting. “As a pastor, I want to say from that viewpoint, I am greatly encouraged. It makes me feel good to be here tonight with all these citizens of Blair.”
Ultimately, the council voted against the mask mandate. Though it may not have been the outcome some wanted, the process worked.
City councils, while one of the smaller governing bodies, determine what is best for their municipalities. But those council members also represent the people.
And the Blair City Council listened to the people.
No matter what side of the issue residents are on, they should be reassured that those serving on the council take their duty as an elected official seriously. They listened to both sides and made a decision they thought was best for the City of Blair and its residents. The city and its leaders should be commended.