Today, July 21st, Mayor Brenda Gunter is sharing her thoughts on what we as a community need to do to get us through COVID-19 on a local level.

She opens her remarks by saying “Take care of your fellow citizens. Community spread is in the hands of our community. Our citizens – each and every one of you – play a part in stopping community spread.”

We are highlighting some of Our Mayor’s thoughts for you here as she continues with the following:

If you care about our local economy, if you care about our family-owned businesses, your hairdresser, your barber, your nail technician … then you should care about whether you are playing a part in the community spread of COVID-19. If you care about your neighbors, coworkers, friends, family and fellow citizens, then we need each of you to take personal responsibility for your actions.

We cannot afford another shutdown in San Angelo or Tom Green County. Tom Green County is considered a hot zone or red zone, meaning our increase in cases and our positivity rate put us in a category that we should not be proud of.

The virus has impacted lives financially, emotionally and mentally.

I do not want our city to be a city that Governor Abbott shuts down due to our positivity rate. I do not want him to declare any more categories of business to shut down or occupancy reduced. I believe all business are essential to our local economy and essential to a family’s livelihood. We should not be in the business of picking or choosing which businesses and essential services should be open or closed. Every business is important in terms of services or product offered, family income, employment and re-investment back into our economy. But, once again, it is in your hands as a business owner or an employee or a customer.

Mayor Gunter said that she has created a working group to review TABC licensing to determine if we can get support for more categories of licenses other than just the 51%, etc. I believe we need to be able to separate wine bars, live entertainment venues, beer pubs, vineyards/tasting rooms from the simple 51%. Too many businesses were impacted and forced to close due to a few bad apples who abused the guidelines.

So many athletes lost their big moment to showcase their talent and perhaps earn an opportunity to get a scholarship and be accepted at a school of their choice. We do not want to be in the business of canceling events. Those are difficult, emotional decisions that are very hard to make. But for the San Angelo community, we must make the tough decisions that we believe will help us win against COVID-19.

What we are going to have to do is learn to live with COVID-19. Whatever it takes. This virus cannot be used to take away our cherished freedoms. But we also know that in order to continue to enjoy our freedoms, every citizen must do their part in helping stop the spread.

I ask for your help in making San Angelo a city that takes pride in standing tall and doing the right thing to protect our families, friends, neighbors and citizens. San Angelo has always been a city to take care of its fellow citizens. Our businesses need our support. Our local businesses’ success depends on you as citizens to help them survive by doing the right thing. Wear a mask, social distance and remember … it is in your sanitized hands.

To read Mayor Gunter’s entire statement today, click here.

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