As we reported on our Facebook page last week Town Manager Roger Hernstadt took his first step to enforce the town’s mask mandate by requiring the 5-12 year old children at Bay Oaks to wear masks during the after-school program. Up until that requirement, the staff at Bay Oaks were keeping the kids six feet apart. At least one parent believes Hernstadt is targeting them.
This letter was sent to the town council this week following Hernstadt’s first known enforcement of the mask mandate (which was passed on July 1st):
“Mayor, Vice-Mayor and Councilmen, I am writing to you today to express my extreme displeasure with the town manager’s arbitrary decision to force the children of the Bay Oaks after school program to wear masks while in the gymnasium at Bay Oaks.
This is a disgusting show of force by the Town Manager to all of a sudden require this, when there has been no such requirement since the start of the pandemic at Bay Oaks, both for the summer program or the after school program, due to the fact that the children are social distancing while indoors at Bay Oaks.
There have been no cases of COVID-19 infections due to the children at Bay Oaks, and the risk to children is minimal to almost non-existent. This is a purely politically motivated action, and amounts to a denial of access to public services by Town officials.
Parents and island taxpayers that do not want our children running and playing while being stifled by a mask that provides little to no benefit to the children (who are already social distancing inside the gymnasium), on the whim of the Town Manager, are being denied fair access to the Bay Oaks facility.
I implore all of you to speak to the Town Manager and have him immediately remove this requirement, let the kids be kids and stop playing political football with the island children.
I truly believe this is a targeted effort of the Town manager to punish several of his harsh critics whose children attend Bay Oaks.”
At the Town Council meeting Monday, Mayor Ray Murphy told the town manager to do his job and start enforcing the town’s mask mandate ordinance.