November 11, 2020
Dear Mayor & City Council Members,
I want you to know that I have been praying for you all. I know that being elected to serve our city at such a time as this is not what you had envisioned when you stood for election. The spread of the coronavirus has challenged us all. So know that there are many who are praying for you.
Since your decision to implement a mask mandate for the city of Coeur d’Alene, our surrounding cities have refused to do so. It is my understanding that the Post Falls City Council decided to mandate masks for those on city property but not to mandate masks generally. Given this, I want to urge you to rewrite your mask mandate to follow that pattern. Why?
First, it would enable you to continue to educate the community about masks. I understand that a majority of you believe masks are effective in limiting the spread of the coronavirus. While I would question that conclusion (and have included a couple links below for your information), if you pass a mandate for city property then you would still be able to accomplish this objective and endeavor to persuade the community of their effectiveness. You would still be on record upholding the value of masks for our community.
Second, it would free you from the need to mobilize the police force to cite those not wearing masks. I read in the paper this week that four individuals have been cited and are now at risk of being prosecuted by the city. Is this really how you want to use our police force? Aside from the questionable use of their limited resources, do you really want our officers to hold a gun to the head of our citizens and force them to wear masks? For this is what mobilizing the police force means. When you pass a mandate, you are authorizing men with guns to impose your will on others.
Finally, it would increase the esteem for your lawful authority. As a pastor I want to encourage members of our community to show due honor and respect to those whom we have elected as public servants. But when you pass mandates of this sort that are questionable in their value, dubious in their constitutionality, and widely disregarded by the populace, I cannot do that which I would. This mandate is simply fostering contempt for your authority among our citizens.
Again, thank you for your service. I pray that you may reconsider your mandate and rewrite it to reflect that found in our surrounding cities.
Pastor Stuart W. Bryan
Links on Policy and Masks:
Click here for a pdf version of this letter.