The state of city affairs
I am writing to express my frustration and annoyance about the state of COVID-19 in Claremont.
On Wednesday, Oct. 27, the Claremont City Council voted to end the Zoom platform except for visitors. A motion was made by Jonathan Stone and seconded by Debora Matteau to end Zoom. As I was the only city councilor meeting by Zoom, I felt that the motion was made to restrict the representation of citizens from Ward II. I do not go into buildings where people are unmasked and unvaccinated due to my need to protect immunocompromised members of my family as well as my grandchildren.
The motion passed 5-3, with myself, Assistant Mayor Allen Damren and Mayor Charlene Lovett voting no. If you happen to watch a city council meeting on Facebook or attend in person, you will notice that only the city manager, Damren and Lovett are masked. The remainder of the council are unmasked and not socially distanced. As of Sunday, Nov. 14, the city manager has closed the Central Collections Office (the city clerk) due to COVID-19 exposure of employees, along with symptoms.
Claremont has a “substantial” transmission rate, per the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, and a current active infection rate of 161 people. To date, more than 10 percent (1,400-plus cases) of the population of the city has been infected with COVID-19. Even with this information available, the city council still does not adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines of masking (inside or outside), getting vaccinated and practicing social distancing.
Anyone concerned with what is happening in Claremont should call or email the city manager (603-542-7002) or email him and the city council (email addresses are on the city website) asking that responsible action be taken immediately to protect us. If we do not get ahead of this virus we will never get beyond its negative effects on our city, our city’s economy and our citizens. Thanks for considering my concerns.
Jim Contois is a resident of Claremont and represents Ward II on the Claremont City Council.