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Potterville mayor receives flak for controversial mask meme

Published: Nov. 6, 2020 at 4:07 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - As COVID-19 cases are rising in Eaton County, the mayor of Potterville is sharing controversial memes on Facebook about mask usage.

The post, which Mayor Bruce Kring has shared several times, says “this ends when we all say no” over a photo of a mask. Some community members view the message as supporting anti-mask rhetoric.

Long-time resident Thomas Kesson’s is one of those frustrated people.

“It means they don’t care about anybody...selfish,” said Kesson. “I hope everybody starts wearing them and we get rid of this stuff.”

But there were plenty others in the community who decided to come to Kring’s defense; calling his actions freedom of speech and choice.

“I’ve seen his post. I’m a good friend of Bruce’s and I happen to agree 100% with him,” said council member Duston Twichell. “This an incredible overreach and an invasion of personal privacy and the government has no business telling us what we can do. Many people have chastised me for the way I am or the way I act on council and people tell me I need to lead by example. I believe I am doing just that by not confirming with the mask laws. In fact, they’re not laws.”

Justice Livingston wears a mask in public but says she’s still trying to make up her mind about whether the post is right or wrong.

“In a sort of kinda way, he’s right and he’s wrong. Because it is supposed to keep us safe. We don’t want the coronavirus. In another way, he is right because it is time for us to finally be free,” said Livingston.

But even a council member who supports the mayor believes this is a situation where just because you can say something doesn’t mean you should.

“I believe that all civil leaders-whether it’s council members, school board members, senators, judges, anyone who is an elected official always should be held to a higher standard.. to the point where we’re not attacking our constituents. To the point where we’re not putting those posts out there that have like middle fingers sticking up at people, calling people names,” said council member Loren Smalley Jr.

Mayor Bruce Kring told New 10 he stands by his post and does not feel his comments were irresponsible. He says people should be able to choose whether they want to wear a mask or not and not infringe on the lives of others.

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