NAMPA, Idaho — Nampa Mayor Debbie Kling says she has heard a lot of comments in her community surrounding the mask debate. She firmly believes they are a great idea that her community needs to embrace.
KTVB went in-depth with Mayor Kling on her thoughts on masks. Below is the transcript of her interview with KTVB reporter Joe Parris.
Joe Parris: Mayor Debbie Kling from the city of Nampa joining us here on the 208, I know that there's been a lot of pressure on city leaders across our state, across our country about wearing a mask and having a mask mandates. Where do you stand on that? Where do you see masks fitting in in the Nampa community?
Mayor Kling: Well I think masks are really important right now. It's been proven, and you know there's been a lot of information that's going back and forth regarding masks and their effectiveness, and where we are today is that masks are effective and that we need to wear them regarding a mask mandate. I fully believe that people need to self govern. You know what, we wouldn't need laws if we would self govern. And right now we need people to adopt willingly to say hey I'm in to wear a mask because it's going to help prevent the spread of the COVID virus. Unfortunately, we don't always know when we have a virus we're contagious before we know that we haven't and that's where the spread is coming from and a mask, both people wearing them is the way to help prevent it.
JOE: There's been a lot of conversation about if there are mask mandates in different areas, how do you enforce them? Another point I've heard is, even if you don't have a mask mandate there's businesses across the valley that are essentially begging their customers, please wear a mask so that we can keep our doors open. Whether you agree with it or not, in terms of, you know, personal responsibility social responsibility, what's your message to the city of Nampa when it comes to masks?
MAYOR KLING: It is to respect that business owner because you know what the most important thing is, besides lives, It's keeping our economy going and helping our small businesses stay in business. And so if everyone would wear a mask and if people would respect the business owner that says, hey, I'm going to require a mask. You know what respect them. And then for those business owners, saying, they aren't even wearing masks, I would encourage them to do so because it increases consumer confidence. We were going to go to a restaurant the other day and I called ahead to ask are the tables distanced, are the servers wearing a mask? Because I don't have time to get COVID right now, and I really want to be safe myself and my schedules busy and I just don't have time for it. I know a lot of people right now that actually have COVID. And one of the comments that was made was, I wish I would have been more careful.
JOE: There's been a lot of conversations about masks, who should be wearing masks? Should we be waiting till there's a mandate? Really, I know that business owners tell me we need people to wear masks. I've heard people saying we really want to wear masks but we fear there's no enforcement there's no pressure from city government. So, what I guess pressure would you put on the people of Nampa to wear a mask, even if there's not a mandate.
MAYOR KLING: You know, you have to appeal to the goodness in people, and that is that I personally believe that we can stand up for our rights, but instead of doing that. How about if we lay down our life for our neighbor, right, why don't we consider somebody else more than we're considering ourselves right now. So you know what, I don't like wearing masks, but I would wear a mask, just to protect you. I would wear a mask to protect the person standing next to me. It's important to me to care for those about me. And so, to ask our police officers to or, you know, public safety to try to enforce a mask mandate. I don't think that's the direction we need to go. We need people to self govern and to say you know what, I'm in. On my last State of the City we talked about the power of one, the difference, one person can make one person that's contagious, without a mask can affect many others. One person that's willing to take a stand and say you know what I care about you, and I’ll wear a mask, they can influence others around them, and they can protect a lot of other people. So, my appeal is please think of others. And let's do what's right now, let's just wear a mask and help protect those about us.
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