Boise-led’If no one else:’ Mayor McLean talks about dealing with a pandemic


Boise Mayor Lauren McLean met with members of the Boise Economic Recovery Task Force on Wednesday. A group of 13 business leaders, educators and policy professionals Last year, I was asked to consider economic challenges Brought by the coronavirus pandemic, it provides recommendations to help the city recover.

Next week, the Task Force will publish a report highlighting the steps taken to achieve these recommendations. After the meeting on Wednesday, McLean spoke with an Idaho politician. We asked the mayor how the city went during the pandemic, now in the 15th month.

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Q: Q: What do you think of the past year when Boise has dealt with the coronavirus pandemic?

A: There are some things we learned last year. Our community has experienced many things as individuals. We have experienced many things. It called on us to be (flexible) in the way we live, work and govern. It called on all of us to live differently.

You guys (reporter John Sawell and photographer Darin Oswald) are now wearing masks, as we are all, and that made a difference. Boises’ willingness to do what is needed to protect public health has revolutionized the city. The business was closed for some time, and the governor closed the state with a stay-at-home order.

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What did you suffocate?

I look at it differently and ask: What did the pandemic release and promote?

It cultivated the motivation to try new things. It taught us how to be creative, risky and inspire policymaking in our small business efforts and nonprofits’ efforts to meet demand. It taught us how to quickly pivot to juggle and meet urgent and crisis needs, but it must be taken where we are heading and for long-term success. Pay attention to the steps that must be taken. Most importantly, we’ve put this community together the way we would have had to do without it.

There was a simmering conversation from the most injured about the need to work on housing and the lack of urgency of institutions and policy makers. It clarified the importance of housing, childcare, and transportation as infrastructure, creating a solid, resilient, and ultimately successful community. And this year, when we all struggled, we learned it, and we were all given the opportunity to devote ourselves to it and improve the future through it.

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I’ve heard criticisms of some of the measures taken, mask obligations, police tapes on tennis courts at Fairview Park, and more. Do you think it was a minority?

Boises are willing to pause and take different steps that often expect us to lead in the absence of others and interfere with what we see elsewhere. Was shown.

Right now, at a meeting of the Economic Reconstruction Task Force, the CEO of a company and the head of a university said that what the city did was very necessary to protect the economy and promote the growth it is currently seeing. It was. Guarantees from the community that these are the right steps, guarantees from the medical community that they are needed, and guarantees from businesses that this is actually an economic growth move to protect public health. It kept us moving and gave us confidence that we were doing what we needed to do with the economic drivers at the heart of the state’s economic activity.

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Are you concerned about the relaxation of mask restrictions and whether it could lead to an increase in new COVID-19 infections?

We continue to monitor and talk with medical professionals in the hospital system and medical institutions in the central district. When loosened, he said he didn’t need to wear a mask if he was vaccinated. We look to businesses to make decisions, assist them in making decisions, and encourage communities to do the same. At most of the facilities I went to, patrons need to use masks.

Make sure you have concerns as you proceed with this. We are initially focused on people’s health, so there are concerns everywhere that have been there all the time. And we are watching and pivoting again if necessary.

I haven’t seen spikes. We wanted to wait enough time to consult with health districts and health professionals to see how some variants work. And we are here because we follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

However, we will continue to monitor it. We also carry out state-of-the-art wastewater monitoring. This provides cities and current regions with an advanced preview of what may be upcoming or in case. Looking at it, you can usually predict what you need to do before you look at it and see the test results.

In a June recovery task force report, taking the lead in the area of ​​public health protection was their first recommendation, if they wanted to protect the economy in a way that would allow them to recover quickly. ,I had to. .. So we got their support and supported it, knowing that it would make a difference to our long-term economic situation here.

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What do you think about it for companies that have had to take time off from time to time due to lack of workers?

There is a structural problem of returning to work because you are not raising children, and working from home is different from juggling at home. The unmasking was done by looking at the data here. ..

Companies continue to choose to request masks to protect their employees, monitor the size of the crowd in the facility and do everything possible to protect the public, as well as open people Protect so that you can stay there. Our job last year was undoubtedly a partnership with the business community, the steps we took, the partnerships and programs we created, and even the events that could happen.

Event capacity is still limited, but we have created a great program with the health district to review events that exceed the limit. If they give a stamp of approval, the event may continue. So I was able to hold a Big Sky Basketball Tournament. The convention is back at the facility. The programs we have done for businesses have allowed them to get more people into their facilities and facilities. In addition, there are quite a lot of requests for permission to install a patio in the parking space, so we are continuing to consider it.

All this was done to protect people and ensure that the economy is as solid as possible and that our business is as solid as possible at this unprecedented 100-year event. ..

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Are you concerned about Boise State University announcing that it will allow a full stadium for football games this fall? Do you think it is in the safe stage?

Boise is a leader in safety precautions. I fully hope that they have worked with the health district to look at cases that model how they manage things and make solid decisions.

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