Cliff Sain

Branson Tri-Lakes News Managing Editor Cliff Sain

We are better than this.

After a city meeting at which the Branson Board of Aldermen extended a face covering mandate indefinitely, Cox Medical Center Branson President William Mahoney – who had spoken at the meeting in support of the mandate – was confronted in the parking lot by some individuals who wanted to, at the very least, intimidate him for his stance.

This occurred following the third public meeting this year regarding whether to implement, or extend, the mandate. These meetings have been highlighted by some very heated, angry rhetoric. Much of it went beyond the typical passionate speeches one might expect during an important public debate. There have been some examples of flared tempers, and of ugly, personal insults against health professionals doing nothing more than providing up-to-date information requested by the board. There have also been an absurd number of people stating information that is either misinterpreted, out of date, or flat out false – and, although I’m always concerned about false information, that’s not the main issue I’m worried about right now.

I’m concerned about the tempers. Some people are getting dangerously angry, and they are directing their anger at people who are guilty of nothing more than serving the community in the best way they know how. That includes anger directed at our health care professionals, as well as our aldermen, all of whom are serving their community and trying to make decisions during a challenging time.

On Tuesday, it’s possible this anger could have turned into an ugly incident. I don’t know the intent of those who confronted Mahoney, but it doesn’t seem like they were interested in a friendly exchange of ideas. Fortunately, Branson police were on hand and nothing significant came of the exchange. A statement from the city confirmed that Mahoney was escorted by police, there was a brief verbal exchange with one of several men who were outside the door, and nobody was detained or arrested. (For more on the incident, see our story about the mandate extension on page 1A.)

We are better than this.

It is my belief that the vast majority of Branson residents are, definitely, better than this. But I’m afraid that, at this crucial and divisive moment in our town, this issue is not being defined by the better angels of our nature.

Disagreement is natural, of course. In fact, it is essential. No elected officials are infallible, and they need to know when they run afoul of their constituents or when they are taking careless or misinformed actions. Most elected official do want to hear from the public. In fact, in my 20 years of area journalism, I can say that Branson accommodates voices of dissent as well or better than any government entity in the area. They want to hear from us. But the display of insult, anger, and bullying does more harm than good. I was relieved that the city extended the mandate indefinitely, simply because I felt these meetings were going to lead to trouble.

And remember. If you want your aldermen and your mayor to know what you think, you don’t have to show up at a meeting to tell them. In fact, that’s not the best way. You can call or email the aldermen any time. The information is on the city’s website, but I’ll go ahead and list the contact information here.

Mayor Edd Akers


Ward I Alderman Bill Skains


Ward I Alderman Bob Simmons


Ward II Alderman Jeff Seay


Ward II Alderman Larry Milton


Ward III Alderman Jamie Whiteis


Ward III Adlerwoman Julia King


The more feedback they get (positive, as well as negative or neutral) the better they can be informed. Many of them, perhaps all of them, are also more than happy to hear from you in person, as long as you don’t ambush them in a parking lot at night. Any of these methods – phone call, email or person-to-person – are better ways to communicate with your aldermen. Speaking at a public meeting certainly has its place, but too much of what we’ve seen lately is not communication, it’s grandstanding.

We are better than that.

(8) comments

Comment deleted.

Dear Mr. Kansoer,

I've looked all over the CDC's website and found nothing that supports your claims. Where are you getting your information from?


Keeping this mandate on indefinitely is stupid and you are doing nothing but hurting your tourist industry. We were down there in June, usually make 4 or 5 trips there every year, but will not be back as long as this mask ordinance is in effect. 70% of those becoming infected were wearing masks. People in nursing homes are dying from Covid and all the employees there are wearing masks. So, tell me again, how the masks protect you. They don't.


This has all been a ways control the people. Psalms 91 says no plaque will come near our dwelling. Who do we trust GOD or man. Sad when companies get paid to try and control people

William B

I remember the vote box at the bottom of the stores saying 53% no. Going against the people you serve isn't what politicians should do. The COX guys isnt even a medical professional and holds no medical license. They don't care about what the people of Branson want. The goverment should be better then this.

So Sick Of This Nonsense

Billy, Cliff was pointing directly at you when he wrote this.

William B

Lol Ofthis, what are you talking about. I dont think this guy even knows who i am. What he is saying clearly makes no sense seeing no violence happened and no one was arrested. The majority of branson people dont want this. Cliff doesnt speak for everyone. Anyone that believes giving up any liberty for a sense of security, deserve neither.

William B

Lol OfThis Clifford doesn't even know me. Benjamin Franklin once said: "Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." What is about to happen in this country is horrible. Those who dont believe in history are doomed to repeat it.


Basically he is condemning those who don't agree with this mask mandate. Over half the people voting say they don't want a mask ordinance, yet they are keeping on indefinitely? This tells you that they don't really care what you think. You are supposed to conform to what they want. I recently found out that a classmate of my husband's and his wife are recovering from Covid. And guess what, they have been wearing masks everywhere. So the theory that masks protect you is wrong.

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