• Last modified 1030 days ago (Aug. 25, 2021)


Congressman speaks at county lake

Staff writer

Congressman Tracey Mann told a crowd of two dozen Thursday at Marion County Lake hall that the evacuation of Afghanistan was “a complete debacle.”

Diplomats, soldiers, and other Americans were pulled out as the Taliban took over the country and reached its capitol Aug. 15.

“We were told by the secretary of state that it was expected the government would last another three months,” Mann said. “We should have had a conditional withdrawal.”

Mann said he’d seen a “strong left turn” and “horrible legislation” at the Capitol since January.

He said he opposed additional stimulus checks because they would add to the national deficit.

Wages, COVID shutdowns, and vaccinations were on the minds of audience members.

Mann said he thought market should set wages.

Daryl Enos, who owns River Mill Woods in Marion and Newton, complained that his business was told it was “nonessential” in 2020.

“We are essential,” Enos said.

Tammy Ensey, co-owner of the Historic Elgin Hotel, opposed a mandate issued Wednesday that all nursing home staff members to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

Ensey said she “knows her own body and knows what’s best for it.”

Her husband, St. Luke Hospital chief executive officer Jeremy Ensey, said employees had threatened to quit over the mandate.

Mann answered that he doesn’t believe in mandates.

Resident Henry Ethem told Mann elected officials “don’t know anything about government” and voiced support for a convention of states to propose amendments to the constitution.

“We are not a democracy,” Ethem said. “We are a constitutional republic. There’s a difference.”

Last modified Aug. 25, 2021