As Richmond residents, we write with great concern about our town officials’ refusal to wear masks when conducting town business on town property.

As reported, the selectmen have decided not to mandate wearing masks because they claim that they maintain a 6-foot distance. In the historic Town Hall, with its narrow corridor and small rooms, it is simply impossible to do so. Combined with the poor ventilation, this situation poses a health hazard to residents who want to conduct business with town officials and avoid contracting COVID-19.

We understand further that the selectmen are seeking a venue for town meeting where masks will not be mandated. The effect will be to discourage many of the town’s residents from participating. Is that what they want?