Mountain Home Mayor Rich Sykes has responded to our request for a comment about his choice of a Halloween costume that some citizens had criticized as being in “poor taste.”
Sykes originally sent the email to Idaho Dispatch on November 2, but the email went to our spam folder. While Idaho Dispatch has updated the original article as well, because of the length of time in between articles and the comment not getting posted fast enough, we felt it was appropriate to put the comment as a separate article as well.
Below is the email response Sykes sent Idaho Dispatch on Nov. 2:
Thank you for reaching out and inquiring about Spooktacular and my costume. This event has become a long-time tradition for our Parks and Recreation Department. After last year’s drive-thru event, we were all ready to get back together and have a somewhat normal Halloween celebration. I could not thank everyone enough for their support of this event, and I think our Parks and Recreation staff knocked it out of the park. It was an extremely successful event with enjoyment all around. I am very proud of all the city staff that had a hand in making the event so successful.When it came to choosing a costume theme for myself and city hall, it was decided that it was time to have some fun again. After two years of this horrible virus, I thought making light of the situation would bring joy and humor to the citizens, but also keep them aware that this virus is still among us. It was not meant to be malicious or have any ill-intent.Unfortunately, “cancel culture” is becoming increasingly popular in today’s world. This group likes to bully and censor many individuals into silence. The people that reached out are quite possibly the same ones that take offense that I pack my gun on my hip every day. This group finds it offensive that I love my conservative values, and I believe in God and country first. It breaks my heart that our citizens, children, and our children’s children are having to deal with these bullies as well. This group will not bully me into silence over a costume. I do not believe that I should be bullied and canceled over my costume choice. Just as I believe in the second amendment right, and that every American has the right to their choice on what they wear.We took Spooktacular downtown to have plenty of room for citizens to social distance if they choose to. COVID-19 is still very much a problem in our country and especially in our community. I have fought the Covid-19 battle myself and we have lost some city family members to this horrible virus. I also believe that everyone has the right to choose what is best for their family when it comes to the vaccine. I do not believe in mandates or the government making those decisions for our citizens or for me for that matter.Again, thank you for reaching to get the other side of the story. COVID-19 is still very much a problem in our country and community and my personal costume choice was not made with ill-intent, but to bring a little humor, joy, and awareness to the citizens of Mountain Home. I thank you once more and have a phenomenal day.
Tags: Covid-19, Halloween, Mountain Home, Rich Sykes