Not Smart

By Recker McDowell —

It was great to see Scottsdale City Councilwoman and Mayoral Candidate Suzanne Klapp and Scottsdale Police Chief Alan Rodbell at a forum this week hosted by the HeroZona Foundation focused on greater racial and social understanding.

We have also noticed Klapp and Rodbell getting some grief on social media for a photo opp at the event where they (and other panelists and attendees) were not wearing masks or social distancing.

Klapp said on Facebook that the “masks were removed for about 30 seconds to get a picture”.

Still, there has been a consistent drumbeat to wear masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 and the city of Scottsdale (like other cities and Maricopa County) mandates masks.

There has been plenty of chastising of young people and others who have been spotted not wearing masks out in public.

So, it is important for those crafting policies and those enforcing those policies to lead by example. A 30-second photo opp without masks and social distancing is a momentary lapse in judgment by Klapp (who wants to be Scottsdale’s next mayor) and Rodbell.

The Scottsdale Police already faced some tough questions on its handling of the looting and vandalism at Scottsdale Fashion Square and the Scottsdale Waterfront. The city and the police do not need any additional grief.

The photo is also ill-timed considering Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane just extended the city’s mask mandate. Lane is term limited and Klapp is one of the leading contenders in the August 4th primary.

Arizona has 141,265 COVID-19 cases and 2,730 deaths. The situation is a concern for public health as well as jobs and the economy. We need to see improvement with the number of COVID cases and deaths.

We also need to build confidence that the situation is improving. Part of that includes good examples of leadership.