Letters to the Editor

Who represents the people?

Does the current Board of Aldermen represent people & businesses in Branson or their own personal interest?

Prior to our last Aldermen election in Branson, we had a divided board. There seemed to be three conservatives and three liberals. They couldn’t agree and it seemed like every vote was a 3-3 tie; and the Mayor would side with the liberals.

With changes in Board of Alderman chairs, the board seems overwhelmingly in the control of the Mayor now. Larry Milton appears to be the only Alderman who has steadfastly held and debated conservative principles! His campaign was to “bring reason, logic and common sense to the table” and he has done it with great character, against great frustration.

In regard to Mandatory Masks, Milton was the only Alderman to vote against it. In regard to the Abstention Ordinance, again Milton stood firm. How about the ordinance to prevent City Staff from talking to Board Members about grievances? Yes, Mr. Milton was the only Alderman to vote “no” and protect the rights of Staff to have protection against City Administrators that offend them.

So again: Does the current Board of Aldermen represent the people of Branson? Are they prepared to listen to the businesses who are working hard to create a sustainable economy?

Their campaign slogans boasted “the city needs someone who can communicate and bring people together for the citizens of Branson”, “we need to draw people here with new attractions”, “get the city back to work.” Rubbish. Empty promises.

Mayor Akers probably put it best when he promised, “I think we’ll see a different City of Branson over the next 2 years.” Boy, is it different.

You have not listened to the people who are on the front lines of the economy. You have listened to people who work in medicine and make money through illness. You have listened to departments and interest groups that have enormous job security. You have cowered to social media lizards who prey on hard-working people from the comfort of their screens. You have become emotionally engaged with very fearful people.

We are on the ground: we talk to our customers every day and ask their opinions. We might not be the best source of scientific surveys but over 80% of our guests want the freedom to choose masks and other PPE. They want the government to stand down. They didn’t come here to bring us disease but to be refreshed and recharged from their own seasons of despair.

Over 85% of our customers are guests. Mayor Best knew that 70% of the people who come to Branson come for the shows. We’re all about shows, rollercoasters and entertainment. What an honor! That’s what drives our economy! We make a sandwich and remind people to head out to Silver Dollar City or catch a show at the Clay Cooper Theater. The money we make lets up shop for groceries at Natures Wonders, have our oil changed at Pennzoil and get our hair cut at Fat Donny’s. Can you imagine the ripple-effect when theaters are empty and 100’s of employees are without work?

We love our local patrons but we require our out-of-town guests to remain afloat. We’re a hospitality community. We’ve talked to the Aldermen and Mayor over and over how the majority of our guests have no desire to be mandated where to sit, what to wear and how to think about their health. We have such amazing veterans who know what freedom costs.

The majority of the Aldermen and the Mayor have been deaf to our cries. They mock our misery with sarcasm like “Encourage you to work on a plan B”. I have no Plan B. My plan is to keep my employees paid so they can care for themselves and their families. My plan is to greet every guest that comes through our door with the energy and enthusiasm of a town that wants them here. My plan is to honor all the entertainers and hospitality businesses that are standing strong. My plan is to keep my doors open as long as I can endure so my employees are provided for.

The Aldermen acted like this Mask Mandate had a 50:50 community survey result. They felt, again, the need to break the tie in their liberal fashion.

Thank your Mr. Milton for your outstanding character and your understanding of the Branson travel industry and the plight of small businesses in Branson.

It’s been said, “The coronavirus will come and go but the government will never forget how easy it was to take control of your life; to control every sporting event, classroom, restaurant table and church pew.”

Darin S. Frantz

Owner, Schlotzsky’s - Branson, MO and Owasso, OK

Goggles anyone?

Dear Editor,

Now Dr. Fauci thinks it would be good for people to wear goggles to battle to prevent the spread of the Chinese Virus. So I’m sure the Taney County Health Department and the Branson City Council will most likely want to adopt an ordinance for mandatory goggles in the city. Probably William Mahoney has already contacted the Mayor to discuss this important matter.

James Plummer

Branson

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