Rapid City residents react to mayor’s press conference

Published: Oct. 27, 2020 at 5:53 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender held a press conference Monday in response to the increase in coronavirus cases... where he issued a mask mandate for city buildings. During KOTA’s Facebook live stream, Rapid City citizens gave their opinion on the Mayor’s decision.

“I think honestly our mayor’s doing an amazing job trying to keep business open, keep our economy going, and yet trying to keep the numbers down as best he can," said Denise Maher, Rapid City resident.

“We put him in that position to be our leader to protect us and make the decision that’s best for his community, and I feel like he’s hid behind his desk a lot for this whole thing," said Tayler McCarty, Rapid City Resident.

Allender has stood firm on not mandating masks citywide, but he did mandate them for all city buildings.

“I think he’s taken a smart approach," said Maher. "The virus is here. It’s not going away, we have to learn to live with it, so closing businesses and things of that nature make no sense at all. Government offices protecting themselves and their employees by requiring masks, limiting foot traffic into their offices sets a good example for the rest of the community.”

McCarty feels differently, saying why mandate masks for a place most people rarely go to.

“When I think about how many times I go to a city building compared to like a Walmart, it’s drastic," said McCarty. "I mean, I go to a city building maybe once a month if that, and I go to Walmart once a week, twice a week.”

Maher said there isn’t much more for the mayor to do.

“Honestly, every business I’ve gone into, all the employees and staff wear masks, and most businesses are already putting signs up saying either masks required, or masks recommended, and I think with the mayor’s point most of these viruses are not being contracted in Safeway or Menards, it’s coming from gatherings, and I think he’s right," said Maher.

But McCarty said we need to choose. Mask mandate and stay open or no mandate and close.

“It’s either, we wear masks, and we stay open, or we don’t wear masks and we close," said McCarty. "And I can guarantee you that hundreds, maybe thousands of people will be devastated even worse the second time around, and there won’t be bouncing back from that.”

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