We want to thank the residents who spoke at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting and encouraged us all to push harder to get our schools and businesses back open. We couldn’t agree more. While the City has no direct authority related to these topics, they have been, and will remain, a top priority. The daily reports we receive from families about their student’s struggles due to not being able to go to school are heartbreaking and sincere. The list of businesses who have shut their doors for good, or who may have to do so soon, continues to grow. We have always maintained that all businesses are essential.
We continue to believe that there is a balance between recognizing the absolute threats created by COVID-19 and safely re-opening to the greatest extent possible. We can fight to reduce our COVID-19 numbers by encouraging people to wear masks and practice social distancing, while also sincerely advocating for fair opportunities for our businesses and children. We believe some of the closure levels mandated by the state’s “Red to Green” system are too prohibitive. We need to work harder to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community, but in a manner that causes less permanent damage to our economy and to the mental health of our young people.
Some residents saw media coverage of a council vote in Roswell a few months ago. They have asked us why we don’t do what Roswell did. It needs to be clarified that some of the media coverage of Roswell’s council vote was highly misleading, as Roswell’s vote was only related to re-opening a list of city facilities allowed by the amended health orders. The City of Carlsbad’s municipal facilities are opened up to the same degree as Roswell. A vote by our governing body would not have an impact on our state-run school system.
What we have done, and what we will continue to do, is represent this community by advocating, at all levels, for our students, businesses and residents. We will do so in conversations with state legislators, federal legislators, the Governor’s office, cabinet members and everyone possible. We have an excellent city council, school board and county commission and, together, we will not lose focus in our duty to serve you.
It is our hope that the arrival and distribution of vaccines will play a critical role in both reducing COVID-19 and allowing the state to re-open. People are making individual choices regarding the vaccine, which is their absolute right, but a significant number of local health care workers and first responders have received their doses and reported no bad side effects. We believe these immunizations establish a good foundation for the argument that counties across New Mexico should soon be allowed to return to normal to a much greater extent.
But we also aren’t going to sit around and wait. Thank you again to the residents who reach out to us every week. Getting our businesses and schools back open remains a top priority, and we will continue to make that case at every opportunity. Support our local businesses in every way possible by shopping local. We sincerely are hopeful that the finish line is finally in sight.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway