BULLHEAD CITY — In a spirited and sometimes heated meeting, the first hour of Bullhead City Council’s meeting on Tuesday was taken up by members of the community complaining about Mayor Tom Brady’s orders to close city parks, boat launches and beaches on weekends.
During the Call to the Public to open the meeting, 12 of the 18 Bullhead City residents expressed their opposition to the orders.
Two even took to name calling, one telling City Manager Toby Cotter to “shut up” and another calling Brady a “coward” for his orders.
Harvey Pryor, of Bullhead City, spoke about Brady shutting down beaches, questioning how much revenue the city plans on losing, how many businesses are going to close and how many more people are going to lose their jobs.
He then turned on Cotter, asking him about testing. When Cotter replied, Pryor told him that he has to shut up. Pryor claimed that Cotter had lied about being able to test at the Anderson Auto Group Fieldhouse.
Cotter later told those assembled that he has tried to get testing at the fieldhouse, but has been told by the school district that the fieldhouse will not allow testing inside as Pryor said.
Later, Annie Severino complained that she had a medical condition and cannot wear a mask. “If people wear them and they work, then they should wear them,” said Severino. “But they shouldn’t worry about me. That’s between me and my doctor. Restricting that right is just like China. That’s communist. Our mayor caved to the mob, rather than stand up for our God-given rights. He is not a leader, but a coward.”
Brady later told those in attendance that there was a copy of the proclamations there, and went so far as to read one section of it for the audience.
“There is a lot of misinformation out there, and I would like people to understand more clearly why some of the things that have been done are being done,” explained Brady. “For those who say they have a medical condition and can’t wear a mask, you don’t have to wear a mask. That’s spelled out in the proclamation.”
“One of the exceptions — and there are many — are people who have one or more medical conditions or disabilities that prevent wearing a face covering, including anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance. A person asserting this exception for a medical condition or disability is not required to carry or produce documentation verifying the health condition to a business or to law enforcement.”
Brady went on to say that he, the city manager and the police chief have been involved in discussions, meetings and briefings with top medical professionals, health care administrators, first responders and the governor’s office since the pandemic began and their top priority has been the ability of the medical community and first responders to safely deliver the resources needed for relief of the pandemic.
“This includes ICU and COVID hospital beds,” said Brady. “Along with surge capacity. The number of ventilators that are there and in use. The personal protection equipment. Testing and adequate staffing for doctors, nurses, fire fighters, paramedics and police officers. Imagine your loved one seriously ill and needing hospitalization, but because the hospital is out of capacity, they are being transferred to New Mexico as has already happened here in Arizona. Now your family member dies alone and in another state and you have to get them back home for the funeral. I am not concerned about the controversies behind the science. That has nothing to do with the decisions I’ve had to make in our community. All I care about is whether or not our medical community and our first responders can treat you if the need so arises. These are the toughest decisions I have ever had to make.
“I fully expect that we will stay the course regarding the wearing of masks until some time in the future. For those of you who think it’s unconstitutional, let me remind you that over 40 states have some sort of mask orders and nobody has challenged the constitutionality of those orders in a court and won. So, please stop dividing our community and think about helping to protect everyone from a virus that you may not even know you have by wearing a mask simply when indoors and in a public establishment.”