Idaho Dispatch

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Did Rexburg Mayor Treat Protesters Differently During Mask Mandate Meeting?

By • November 25, 2020

Several days ago the city of Rexburg held a meeting where they discussed a mask mandate.

Rexburg is already under a mask mandate from the East Idaho Public Health District. The ordinance the city was discussing several days ago was geared toward bringing more businesses in compliance with the mask mandates.

During the meeting, citizens were outside protesting the mask mandate proposal and were not allowed to come inside despite the cold weather.

In fact, a sign was placed on the door telling citizens that due to the 10-person limit of Governor Brad Little’s health order no one else could attend the meeting because the mayor, city council, and their staff reached that limit without citizens being present.

However, when Idaho Dispatch spoke with Representative Ron Nate (R-Rexburg) who was at the meeting that evening he told us that the sign didn’t make sense. Nate said that when the issue of urban renewal came up on the agenda, that a number of citizens who wanted to speak on that issue were let into the building to testify at the meeting.

Nate said that security let people in through a side door and not through the front door.

When the time came for the discussion on the mask mandate, no citizens appeared to be in the room as observers that Idaho Dispatch could see from the video feed. Nate said he did not see anyone go inside from the crowd either as others had been let in for the urban renewal issue.

Idaho Dispatch sent Mayor Jerry Merrill an email and asked him if he did let some citizens inside the building, despite the sign on the door, to testify on the urban renewal issue but then not let citizens in to observe or testify on the mask mandate issue.

Idaho Dispatch has not yet heard from Merill and if he responds we will update the article accordingly.

The ordinance was placed on the agenda 24 hours before the meeting started. It was recommended that the council skip the “readings” that normally take place, not take public comment, and then vote on the ordinance that night.

However, the meeting turned rather chaotic because the city did not appear to “mute” people who were part of the “GoToMeeting.” Frequent interruptions happened while the mayor and city council tried to discuss the mask mandate.

Additionally, at least one city council member appears to have been caught off guard that the item was even on the agenda.

Ultimately the mayor said they would take up the issue at a later date. No vote took place and the ordinance may come up again at a future date.

Do you think the mayor should have allowed more people in or was he simply trying to follow Governor Little’s health order? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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Tags: Jerry Merrill, Mask Mandate, Rexburg, Ron Nate

7 thoughts on “Did Rexburg Mayor Treat Protesters Differently During Mask Mandate Meeting?

  1. If he really let other citizens in for other comments, Then yes he was just trying to undermine the people that were protesting

  2. I think they should’ve provided a few more days to prepare and that only the Mayor and a couple staff should attend in person so that there can be a person or few representing the opposing sides in a period of public input.

  3. Why doesn’t the council hold an outdoor meeting? This is Idaho and we all have coats. IT would have to work a bit to move the cameras outside, but it is not impossible.

    Restricting the meeting size because it is held indoor is a means of stopping resident’s input. Requiring those who can’t wear a mask from speaking directly to the council is a means of restricting input. The attempts at providing electronic viewing or “send us an e-mail” do not have the same weight as the individual looking the council in their eyes while speaking.

  4. The criminals pushing this COVID crap are corrupt! We need to get used to viewing them that way. Their minds are bought and they don’t want to be bothered with pesky tax payers. They have weaponized our tax money and police against us. It is our City Hall, we pay for the building, it is our City Council and Mayor, they work for us, we have the right to be heard.
    They use this distancing crap on purpose. And now they want to use video tech where they can mute us…
    When they voted to indefinitely extend the mandate crap in Moscow, they pretended people had reserved most of the seats!!!
    I used to think, they need to bring it outside. But this is all about corruption, 99% survival rate… It’s past time for pushback! 200 people should have jammed them little bodies right past the jackboot thugs, paid no mind to their rules, and exercised their 1st Amendment rights loudly and at the same time!
    You can’t reason with criminals! People! This is Bio-Terrorism for profit, it caries a life time prison sentence!!!
    They don’t care about an election, the Legislature, Courts and Law Enforcement are failing us… ???

  5. I was there outside city hall, and listening in on the meeting. The mayor said he would not allow any people inside, and would not take or listen to public comments on the ordinance. There were 2-4 people inside for the other ordinances discussed that night, all were allowed to speak their opinions multiple times. It was odd to say the least. The wording of this new ordinance is eerily similar to the strict mandate in the Boise area right now. Im wondering which of our city council has ties to Boise and trying to pass a similar mandate with fines, misdemeanors, citizen policing, and punishing businesses by threatening their business license with suspension. A few council members were concerned with the wording of the new ordinance, and it was tabled. But Ive heard they will try to vote on it again possibly next week.

  6. The mayor of Rexburg needs to be recalled. He is part of the cabal that is undermining our Republic. Any more shenanigans and he should be dealt with accordingly.

  7. Just found this post and thought I would add some points. Only the hospital representative was allowed to speak on the issue, but no one was allowed to speak against it (Yes, the public outside was treated different). As I understand state statute, the agenda of a regular meeting cannot have additional items added less than 48 hours prior to the meeting except for an emergency (you can double check). This was not an emergency item, and no one stated it was (that I recall); thus making the mask mandate discussion an illegal action. Not the first time Rexburg ignored required protocol. The mask mandates were wrongly supported and along with attempts to mandate bogus and dangerous vaccines are inspired of evil. BTW, officials’ complaints about feeling endangered and calling the protestors a “mob” was a load of political garbage. I witnessed no threatening words or actions that night.

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