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Gary B.: Mountain View City Council discusses mask-wearing ordinance

The Mountain View City Council’s Wednesday morning special meeting contained a lot of discussions, but little action. 

An ordinance, approved by the state, was up for discussion and a possible vote.  

The ordinance basically said the council is in favor of people wearing masks in public, particularly in public gatherings, and when social distancing cannot be established.  It also says law enforcement can act in a supportive role to businesses if local businesses wish to require masks.  It also says that law enforcement will endeavor to educate and encourage the public to the need of wearing face masks or face coverings.

I noticed Conway, Fayetteville, and Rogers, and some of them have enacted this. But there’s no penalty. It’s just like if you don’t stop at a stop sign, there’s a penalty for it.  You can get a citation written for it. The way I see this ordinance, if you don’t wear your face mask, there’s no repercussions. So I don’t know that you can enforce this, said Mayor Gardner.

The mayor said there were pro and con comments from the public and council members during the meeting which lasted over an hour. 

Mayor Gardner said even a negative comment, before the meeting, on the council holding the meeting in the morning time.  Gardner said the person commenting suggested it was held at that time so people could not attend because they were working.

Gardner said that was not the reason the meeting was held at the time, and it is an insult to the council to suggest otherwise. Gardner said city council meetings are conducted in the public and open to all.  

The council voted to table the ordinance until the regular council meeting on Tuesday.  Mayor Gardner said it would give members time to consider the ordinance, and hear any public comment on the subject.

The mayor said the information would probably be better to come before the council as a resolution instead of an ordinance.  He said an ordinance is, in effect, city law.

Mayor Gardner said, during council meetings, face masks will be required if social distancing cannot be established. 

White River Now News Team

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