Letter to the Editor: Retired Safford City Manager Skeete expresses his gratitude

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Retired Safford City Manager Horatio Skeete

Dear Editor:

We have spent just a little over three months in self-isolation, socially distancing, and reluctantly wearing masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the Governor lifted his “Stay home, Stay healthy, Stay Strong” restrictions in the middle of May we went a little wild.

Maybe we were a bit too anxious to return to normal, and now we are seeing the unintended consequences of our action. We are now having to ask bars, gyms, and movie theaters to close for another month or maybe more, because of the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases throughout the State.

I just want to take a moment and acknowledge a special group of people who I have worked with for the last six years that have largely gone unnoticed and under-appreciated. Yes, I am talking about the staff of the City of Safford. During this time you continued to get safe clean drinking water; gas and electric utilities thanks to the Utility Department employees. You continued to have your trash picked up as scheduled thanks to the Sanitation Department employees. We continued to work on the parks and streets getting them ready for the eventual reopening and our return to “normal”. You continued to receive emergency assistance from our Police Department employees and Fire Department volunteers.

Today, as our COVID-19 positive test inches up to around 100, let us not forget how we were able to keep them this low. And while our leaders continue to hesitate to make wearing a mask mandatory in public I would like to implore you all to please do so, it saves lives and is a sign of respect for our friends and neighbors.

Thank you for your patience, support, and understanding for being such a dedicated staff during this pandemic. One day we will look back to these days and document the road traveled and the beginning of the new normal.

It has been a memorable six years journey, thanks to all of you.

Horatio Skeete
Retired Safford City Manager