Mayor Bill Benton knows that the coronavirus pandemic is affecting Rosenberg residents.

And even though he voted to cancel National Night Out slated for next week, he wants his citizens to know that just because the city isn’t holding its annual event doesn’t mean people can’t still take part in the evening’s festivities.

National Night out is a crime and drug prevention awareness observance. The annual campaign is designed to build a stronger police-community partnership around neighborhoods across the nation.

“We have no issue with anybody having National Night Out events,” Benton said. “If folks wish to have them and if it’s groups of 10 or more, the order says they have to have permission from the mayor. And I have no issue with it.

“The city’s not going to stop anybody from having National Night Out events. But the city is not having any city sponsored events. Which means were not using public money to fund it. We’re not going to bring the city staff out because we’re trying to err on the side of caution.

“But we’re not gonna stop people. I ask that people take necessary precautions. Social distance, wear a mask, and use hand sanitizer. If people don’t know that by now then the government isn’t going to stop them.”

When it comes to Halloween, Benton told The Herald that he feels the same way.

“People really need to use their common sense,” Benton said. “It doesn’t feel right that the city should tell people don’t have Halloween.

“Parents are not going to be letting their kids do what they’ve done in the past, but the city is not gonna tell people not to trick or treat. We’re going to be careful. And look at it this way, everyone’s wearing masks anyway for Halloween. If we were in a congested metropolitan area, I would understand, but in our area here we don’t have that many trick or treaters any way. People will just have to use their judgment.”

Benton suggested handing out candy with gloves on, leaving a bucket of treats on the front porch for children to take, or creating individually-wrapped bags of candy for trick or treaters to take.

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