Residents seek leadership to combat mandates at RS Council meeting



Wyo4News Photo | Tyler Johnson

Tyler Johnson, [email protected]

ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING (January 5, 2021) – During Tuesday’s Rock Springs City Council meeting, residents spoke up to seek leadership from elected officials and members of the community to combat COVID-19 health orders.



Rock Springs residents Justin Hilton and Annie Cunningham voiced concerns of where the city, county, state and country are heading when people follow and listen to mandates that cause local businesses to suffer.

“These are uncertain times and it’s time for stronger leadership among people,” Hilton said, questioning the leadership at the state level.

Wyo4News Photo | Tyler Johnson


Representing over 1,000 people in Sweetwater County, Cunningham talked about the harms of wearing masks she learned from a Zoom webinar, which was hosted by Clinical Scientist Maria Crisler.

She said some of the dangers wearing masks include bacterial pneumonia, cavities and much more. She also voiced concerns about the dangers of children wearing masks, which could harm their oxygen level.

Mayor Tim Kaumo said, as he has in the past, that mandates are a state order and city officials are just trying to make sense of them.

“For a business to close at 10 p.m. and then a truck stop or Walmart can stay open makes no sense,” the mayor said. “It’s confusing and it’s left on our table to make sense of it.

“If you don’t want to wear a mask, I don’t think you should have to.”

Wyo4News Photo | Tyler Johnson

Kaumo also said that if a business is requiring the public to wear a mask upon entering, wear a mask or go elsewhere.

He said the police department is not going around, looking for people who aren’t wearing masks. He said that the police are dispatched when the business calls because people are refusing to wear one when they are asked to.

The mayor said that the biggest reasoning behind the health orders was to not put the hospital over capacity.

“We only have one,” he said. “Two, if you include the one in Green River. That was the goal with limiting group numbers.”



The mayor asked Hilton if he has spoken to anyone at the state level.

Hilton said he has not, adding that he thinks “it starts at the local level. It’s time for people to speak up. I don’t want to be just a keyboard warrior.”

Ward II Councilmember Rob Zotti, who was also selected by his peers as Council President, applauded the residents who spoke up at the meeting.

“I applaud you not just sitting behind a screen to voice your opinion. I side with a lot with what you’re saying,” Zotti said, calling the bar restrictions “bizarre.”

“I do encourage you to go your state representative. Call them, email them and voice your opinion.”