Pima Council in support of a county mask mandate, Thatcher Council to take up issue Tuesday night

Graham County Supervisor Paul David, right, addresses the Safford City Council during a COVID-19 update Monday. - David Bell Photo/Gila Valley Central

PIMA — The Pima Town Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution calling for the county to issue a mask mandate.

The council took action during a special meeting Monday.

“We’re not talking about changing anybody’s lifestyle, we’re not talking about closing the pool, we’re not talking about tearing up a railroad; we’re talking about put a mask on your face for six weeks so we can keep our businesses open (and) keep the hospital operational,” Pima Town Manager Sean Lewis said.

The Graham County Chamber of Commerce’s board previously voted in favor of a countywide mask mandate, and the Town Council for Thatcher is scheduled to hold a special meeting Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. to consider a resolution calling on the Graham County Board of Supervisors to take action.

Meanwhile during its regular meeting Monday, the Safford City Council agreed to hold a special meeting to act on a similar resolution; however, as of Tuesday, the city had not yet set a date or time for the special meeting and, due to the requirement of 24-hour public notice before a meeting can be held, the Safford City Council will not be able to take action on a resolution before the County Board of Supervisors considers a mask mandate.

“A lot of times people say, ‘Well, Safford is a leader.’ It just so happens we’re not. Thatcher is leading already and Pima is holding a meeting tonight to recommend adoption of a resolution on a mask mandate,” Safford Vice Mayor Richard Ortega said. “The chamber is supporting it, our schools are supporting it. Everybody is supporting it and I think it would be a shame if we, ourselves, don’t take it to heart .”

The Graham County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to hold a special meeting to consider a mask wearing regulation Wednesday, Nov. 25, at 8 a.m.

“I can’t speak for the rest of the board, but I can tell you that I will do everything that I can to persuade the other board members to see if they will join you,” Graham County Supervisor Paul David, D-Dist. 1, told the Safford City Council. “I know that Town of Thatcher and Pima have already indicated that they will be passing resolutions in support.”