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OPINION - ‘We will get through this’: a special message from Branson Mayor Edd Akers

Submitted to Branson Globe -

2020 started well, with a focus on getting a strong 2020 Census count. Our population count is important, on a local level, in so many ways. Please, in all this turmoil, don’t forget to complete the census. You can do it online at my2020census.gov or by phone at 844-330-2020.

Branson Mayor Edd Akers/FILE

You, the citizens, and those folks who depend on Branson are the reason we exist as a City Government. Thank You for letting us serve you. I know times are hard for many people and businesses right now. We will get through this. I encourage you to keep up what I have seen over and over again in Branson; seeking ways to help ourselves and others.

A big part of doing this is attitude. One of my favorite quotes about attitude is from Charles Swindoll:

“We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We cannot change the Inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.”

I am proud of the attitude of collaboration between the Branson city staff and the Board of Aldermen during this time of turmoil that led to difficult decisions made in a timely fashion by the Board of Aldermen. It has been a team effort to make the tough decisions based on the best data available.

If you’ll remember, I issued an Emergency Proclamation on March 17. On March 23, the Board of Aldermen also acted quickly to amend Chapter 58 of the Branson Municipal Code in order to reduce the threat or flatten the curve in Branson, to save as many lives as possible. These decisions have been based on trying to keep this dreaded disease at bay. Time will tell if we acted soon enough. The next few weeks are critical to see if additional steps need to be taken. The City of Branson will communicate updates to the Branson community as the situation changes and as we make additional decisions regarding our local response. For these updates, go to the “Coronavirus Updates” bar on the top of our website, www.bransonmo.gov.

Most are aware that our primary funding to support the city is tourism. Since our economy is based on visitors coming to Branson, what happens to our unemployed and our businesses depends on many factors from Federal and State programs. How we return back to normal will, in part, be affected by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and its recommendations. For now, please keep following its guidelines that include wearing masks. If you feel so inclined, I would personally appreciate any prayers for medical breakthroughs.

I have no doubt that the way we do business in Branson will be forever changed. But I also know this is a resilient community, filled with hard-working and extremely creative people. Give us a way and we will get it done.

When we get through this, and we will, I believe we will be back stronger for our trials. I look forward to seeking solutions to issues we were working on before this crisis dominated, which include flooding, poverty, housing, labor force, drug issues, transportation, homelessness and panhandling. We need to plan ahead with vision and cooperation with regional partners, cities and counties.

Thank you for your support and encouragement.

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