Let’s stand strong together during this time

United We Stand

The main question of the day seems to be; will I wear a mask or will I not wear a mask? And the second one is like the first; do I want government (State, County or City) to mandate the wearing of a mask or do I want it to be left to “personal responsibility”?

I have to say that this issue has become extremely divisive in our community and it is disheartening to say the least. We are all facing the same battle against COVID-19. We all live in this community together. Why are we fighting over such a small thing as wearing a mask when we can’t social distance?

Where does government’s responsibility for the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens we were elected to serve “cross the line” of personal freedom? We have laws against smoking in public areas because a smoker’s “personal freedom” ends when it negatively affects the health, safety and general welfare of others. How is this different than wearing a mask in public when you can’t social distance? The potential of negatively affecting the health of someone else leads me to the conclusion that I need to put my mask on in those situations, and as a City, we have published a proclamation that people in Hillsboro wear their mask when and where appropriate.

We can argue all day long about the efficacy of wearing a mask. But as I have stated previously, if one person can be kept from getting this disease by my wearing a mask, I will make the choice to put it on.

This is not a time to be divided. Look at this country, there is more division than we have ever seen in my lifetime. Does that mean we have to act the same as those in Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, Chicago, IL, or Los Angeles, CA? No, certainly not! This is Hillsboro, KS and we are a community that pulls together. Let’s put our differences aside, look out for each other, put on our mask when we can’t social distance and keep Standing Strong Together!

Back To School

Tabor College has welcomed one of its largest incoming freshman classes ever and has done so in a very deliberate, COVID-19 precautionary way. Tabor has tested every student, faculty and staff member to ensure that no one brings the disease onto campus with them. So far, no cases have been reported. We have worked closely with Tabor to provide the old hospital building on South Main St. as a quarantine/isolation center. We want to thank Tabor and MDS (Mennonite Disaster Service) for the clean-up and building modifications that have been required to make it happen.

USD410 is welcoming athletes to practice for fall sports this week and will welcome K-12 students back to campus on September 8th. A very robust COVID-19 protocol plan is being implemented that will do everything possible to keep our students and faculty safe and we offer our thanks to the Administration and School Board for their thoughtful work in putting this plan together.

2021 Budget

The City Council passed the 2021 Budget at our August 4 meeting. The good news is that the mill levy is increasing only .01 mills, basically keeping your property taxes flat. The increase for a median-valued home in Hillsboro ($84,400) will be $0.09 for the year. I appreciate the hard work that our new City Administrator Matt Stiles and his staff did in putting this budget together and working hard to keep our property taxes in line.

Final thoughts

We are very excited about the “fiber to the premises” project that is soon to be underway in Hillsboro! When completed (anticipate project completion in early 2021), it will put Hillsboro in a position to rival any community in this state for broadband service. Be looking for more communication in the near future about this.

In the meantime, put your mask on when you need to and let’s keep standing strong together!

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