By Roger Gitlin – EYE ON DEL NORTE – September 21, 2021
Monday’s City Council meeting (September 20th) was, if nothing else, the most interesting and informative I can remember.
The subject was the role the City chooses to play in testing its employees, addressing the so-called Covid 19 crisis.
To his credit, Mayor Greenough allowed at least THREE opportunities for the public to weigh in on the role the City may play. Responding to Public Health Officer Aaron Stutz. MD and responding to comments made by individual Councilors.
Bravo to the Mayor for allowing this healthyy discussion and involvement with the Public. I addressed Dr. Stutz and asked him to justify the extreme Draconian decisions affecting the public for a virus which has a miniscule lethality ratio of about 1%. Stated another way the 3513 individuals who have contracted the Virus since April 2020, have a 99% survival rate in Del Norte County. I was disappointed with Dr. Stutz’ responses. His meandering retorts filled with no specifics alluded to those who survive may suffer many disabilities and need continuous aftercare.
Dr. Stutz was so general, so anecdotal in his responses, he failed to persuade me of the purported peril the Covid19 Virus presents. The longer he meandered, the more obvious his responses seemed irrelevant.
I reminded the good Doctor Stutz that I was one of 46% (about 10,500) of Del Norter’s who remain UNVACCINATED. Without missing a beat, Dr. Stutz, with a straight face, told me my survival rate might only be 98%, rather than the 99% heretofore mentioned in Del Norte I could barely sleep last night knowing of the dire consequences facing me, should I contract the Virus.
Public speaker Thomas Barnes asked Dr. Stutz what the treatment protocol was for an individual who contracts the Virus. Again, Dr. Stutz’s response was not clear, as so many of the 35 who have succumbed to the Virus have comorbidities (multiple diagnoses).
City Manager Eric Wier continued to exclaim. The testing protocol for City employees was FREE. Folks, NOTHING is free. Also, Mr. Wier who supports the testing mandate, did not tell you, when an employee is hired, there is no condition required that the employee be weekly tested, as a requirement to retain employment.
When asked by Public Speaker Barnes what are the consequences for refusing to take the test, he was candid. The employee would be subject to disciplinary action and a letter to that effect would be placed in the employee’s personnel file. My response to the Councilors and the City Manager was direct and abrupt: Walk this decision back. You are trampling on the Constitution.
Mayor Pro Tem, Blake Inscore, delivered a disconnected reference to Sutter Coast Hospital and its CEO, Mitch Hanna, who mandated his employees to be vaccinated as a condition of employment. Now, Mr. Hanna faces an employee shortage, as many nurses have moved on to other area hospitals. Mr. Inscore related the powerful lobbying efforts Sutter enjoys with our legislators. I mean no disrespect to Mr. Inscore or to Sutter Coast Hospital but who cares about Sutter’s lobbying skill set???
The other Councilors were mostly mum in this robust conversation. Mayor Greenough and Councilor Smith expressed their opposition to these mandates.
At the previous City Council meeting, Human Resource Director Sunny Valero spoke about all the quarantine scenarios and further opined on many Covid 19 diagnoses involved taking one’s temperature. Ms. Valero expressed her opinion that temperature protocol is often not successful. I would add Ms. Valero is not a medical professional and has no expertise is this area.
Councilor Ray Altman was quiet but sits in the wake of his previous pronouncement. “Don’t kick me for loving you and wanting you not to pass away from Covid.” Mr. Altman, thanks but no thanks for your concern for my health. Please direct your passion to fixing potholes on City streets.
The Public is Not Stupid, Stop treating us like Children.
This story continues.