Auburn council member urges flattening of curve, watching council meeting from home


AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – Auburn City Council Ward 6 representative Bob Parsons is urging our community to flatten the curve and will not attend Tuesday’s Auburn City Council meeting in person. 

Parsons, who is also a local first responder and fire inspector, released the following statement on Tuesday:

As we are all now aware, the Covid-19 Pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation worldwide. On the local level, I understand and deeply appreciate that each and every one of us is thinking carefully and planning our next best moves. I want to reassure the residents of our area that we in the public service sector and in public safety continue to work hard towards mitigating this situation to the best of our abilities. I am encouraged and strengthened by all the good deeds and careful actions I am seeing. Well done, Auburn, we have great people here. 

The numbers will keep changing. They’ve changed drastically from just a few days, and now hours, ago. And because of this I believe the absolute best thing I can do as a father, as a first responder, and as an Auburn City Councilperson, is to absent myself from tonight’s City Council meeting. I will be staying home. I believe some people will be reassured by this example. I know others will think it’s an overreaction. Both opinions are justified from different views, and that is okay. In fact, I believe that right now we need diverse opinions handled respectfully.

Alabama State law requires that City Councils meet, in person, twice per month. We had our first meeting on March 3rd. I want to express my gratitude to city staff for the exemplary and extra work they have taken on to ensure tonight’s in-person meeting is safe and responsibly handled. The items on the agenda tonight are neither disruptive nor contentious issues. If this was a regular City Council situation, before the Pandemic, I would have voted in support of each item on the agenda. This reassures me that I may stay home with my family – two members of which have asthma – and I will be watching the streamed meeting with my full support. I recommend those of you who are interested in tonight’s meeting to stay home and watch online. I am counting on you to follow the directions of the CDC so that we can flatten the curve. 

Parsons tells News 3 he has been social distancing since last Wednesday. 

“It seems like an eternity.  One of our boys has chronic asthma. I went to work today as a Fire Inspector in Opelika, fully equipped with personal protective equipment (mask, eyewear, gloves). I did not go to my office. I did not associate with my FF family. I worked from the confines of my city vehicle. The public is playing catch up on this moment in time. I believe and I hope the State will intervene sooner rather than later. My opinion is that I have the greatest respect for the Director of NIAID, Tony Fauci, who recommends social distancing,” said Parsons.

The first responder believes the American timeline is mirroring that of Italy. 

“As much as it pains me to say, this situation is dire and it will require significant sacrifices on all of us. I am comforted in my belief that we will see the best of us in these difficult times, just as in Beauregard and NYC 911. Love to you and yours,” said Parsons.

For more information on how the city of Auburn is handling our pandemic, you can check out WRBL’s COVID-19 tab. 

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