Are you tired of the never-ending East Longmeadow mask mandate? Take comfort. The town’s health director may share your sentiments.
This month I acquired a series of emails from East Longmeadow health officials through a public records request.
The emails show that the town’s health director did not want health board members to re-impose the controversial mandate due to a lack of resources to enforce the policy.
The current mandate was imposed by the unelected health board members on January 12.
Two weeks before the vote, the health director, Tammy Spencer, sent an email to Wilbraham’s health director Finn McCool.
Are any of your towns thinking about putting a mask mandate in place? I am trying to convince our board that all we can really handle right now is an advisory. I really don’t have the staff to deal with an all out mandate.
A week later, Spencer sent an email to the health board’s chairperson Christine Johnston reiterating her concerns.
With all honesty, I don’t believe that we could enforce a mask mandate in the Health Department’s current state…[D]ealing with the complaints and calls would be a full time job. I would support whatever the Board decides, but a mandate would certainly be more than the department could handle right now.
Johnston responded by advising Spencer to communicate her concerns to the other board members prior to the meeting so the topic was not raised during their public discussion.
You may want to mention the plan to Katie and Rebecca before the meeting and address your concerns about being able to enforce a mandate so they don’t get into a discussion that wouldn’t be supported by the health department.
I contend that Johnston’s email violated the state’s open meeting laws and, accordingly, I’ve filed a complaint against the board.
To read the emails in their entirety, click below.