Statement by Lillian Tanski on Town Council Special Meeting on Mask Mandate

If tonight’s Town Council meeting is any indication, my colleagues running against me for Town Council will try to fabricate a message that I am a mask protestor who doesn’t care about my neighbors or our children. It’s personal, untrue and unfortunate they feel a need to belittle others to advocate for their election.
I sent a one-on-one communication to the Town Manager asking a series of direct questions about the timing, rationale and in one instance motivation to install a mask mandate with $100 fines in town without an opportunity for public comment and with very little background information.  I am glad I sent that email, even if it is being twisted to attack me, because sending that email was part and parcel of meeting my promises to my neighbors to insist on transparency and accountability in our local leadership.
The questions I put to the Town Manager yielded results — not only in the transparency of our Council even holding a public meeting, but in setting a clear metric for the use of Town power to compel individuals to wear a mask as a condition of traveling in public throughout town.  Because I asked questions, we as a community can now better plan for our future, and share a goal to hope and reach for in reducing spread.  Because I asked questions, I also received answers we would not have received otherwise about how this mandate will be enforced.  I am proud that I did not shy away from asking the Town Manager questions in that email, that I did not shy away from asking questions of our Town Manager, our Health Director and our Police Chief tonight, and that I did not allow being cut off by the Town Chair or the repeated attacks by my colleagues to deter me from taking the time and space necessary to provide transparent information and be open about my perspective on a measure that impacts the everyday existence of each and every person who lives, works in or visits town.
Like many of my Glastonbury neighbors, I wear a mask and I trust science.  I also know that we must use the Town’s power to compel and fine us carefully, transparently and with caution at all times.  Otherwise we risk the trust of our neighbors and the legitimacy we need to safeguard not only public health but the ability of our community to come together to heal from the past two years and adapt to a virus that will be with us for quite some time to come.  I am proud that tonight I stood out on a limb (even while my opponents sharpened their saws) and that our government is working more accountably because of it.
Thank you very much for your time and attention,
Lillian Tanski
Lillian Tanski