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Fremont County economy needs to rebound ASAP

May 8, 2020 Mayr Rich Bard / Riverton and 3 other Fremont County mayors

Editor:

As mayors from Fremont County, we find ourselves in a difficult position. We believe that the coronavirus is serious and we should give it all of our attention. More importantly, we should concentrate on the elderly in our community and people with particular health needs to make sure that they have the best care possible and avoid the loss of life.

It is also our belief that the requirements that have been placed on the citizens have been well received and strictly adhered to by almost all. We would thank the public at large for their willingness to follow the directions of the governor and the county health officer. We have been part of the Fremont County Emergency Council that consists of the five Fremont County Commissioners, the six Fremont County mayors, many county health nurses, and other county officials, along with hospital representatives and clinic operators.

During the last seven weeks we have met daily to work on the safety of the citizens of Fremont County. We believe that this group has worked diligently for the benefit of all.

The reason for the stay-at-home request was to curb the spread of the virus and we believe that is reflected in the numbers of the hospital count. Last Friday, there were three people in Lander's hospital and one in Riverton's hospital. Previously we had as many as 11 hospitalized.

After a long conversation with the CEO of SageWest, we understand that there are ample hospital rooms, staff and ventilators.

We find ourselves over the last three weeks extremely concerned with the economic growth and well-being of our towns and our county. We've also seen increases in domestic violence, and violence toward others during this time.

We believe this is because of the length of the stay-at-home request, loss of jobs and income, and general worry of people's well-being. We've had incidents such as a barricaded shooter on Aspen in Riverton with a loss of life.

It is our belief that we must give people their rights back that are given by the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the state of Wyoming for the ability to freely assemble, to practice religious assembly, and the right to provide a living for themselves and their families. It is time to allow all involved to make their own personal choices.

We are not wishing to tell anyone to venture out if they choose not to. For those who would like to get back to a normalcy, it would be our hope that we can allow this to be accomplished. We don't want to encourage civil disobedience or conflict, but it is our wish to encourage all in authority to work together to reopen the many businesses that are shuttered.

We need the economy to rebound as soon as possible for jobs to become available again and for those who are willing to return to work and receive a paycheck before it is too late to save so many at-risk businesses.

Mayor Rich Gard

(Riverton)

Mayor Chuck Snyder (Pavillion)

Mayor Joel Highsmith (Shoshoni)

Mayor John Meyer

(Dubois)

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2020-06-03