Hammonton has seen the need for common ground in recent weeks, as decisions that impact many local people have created several instances of people voicing their concerns about the impact of those decisions.
Some of the decisions include the mask mandate for all grades of schools that was announced August 6 by Governor Phil Murphy and the local board of education’s decision to implement that mandate at the Hammonton School District as well as the Hammonton School District’s decision to allow St. Joseph Academy to use William T. Capella Field for the football team’s home games and the gym at Hammonton Middle School (HMS) for home basketball games. The Hammonton Hawks youth football organization, which already uses William T. Capella Field and the Hammonton Bulldogs youth basketball organization, which already uses the HMS gym are being impacted. Their concerns are being considered by the board, which conditionally approved the use of the facilities at their regular board meeting of August 5.
Meanwhile, the entire town is watching as masks have begun to return in public areas following a recommendation by the governor to use them in public areas that can be considered “hot spots” or areas of “increased risk.” There has been little guidance about what makes a public area considered an area of “increased risk.” Also confusing to most has been the direction that both vaccinated and unvaccinated people should wear masks.
We keep thinking of the old political gambit of “divide and conquer.” It’s only effective when people don’t find common ground, banding together to solve problems in a united way. Ultimately what these complex times call for is reason, calm and the furthering of considerate solutions to the problems of the moment.
We think that kind of thinking will lead to the best possible outcome for all of us.