Idaho Dispatch

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Lewiston City Council Tables Mask Mandate and Advisory

By • July 14, 2020

In recent days we have seen a number of Idaho’s larger cities outside of the Treasure Valley decline to adopt mask-wearing mandates.

Pocatello and Idaho Falls both recently voted against or delayed any consideration of a requirement to wear a mask in public.

Opposition from citizens in these areas has been growing in recent weeks. That may be why the city of Lewiston declined to do it as well.

The Lewiston city council heard approximately 90 minutes of testimony with most of the citizens speaking out against the mask-wearing order.

City manager Alan Nygaard who has been pushing the city to enforce a mandatory mask mandate.

Lewiston is one of 3 Idaho cities where the mayor is also a city councilor but appointed by his/her fellow councilors to serve as Mayor. In these cities, the mayor is responsible for conducting the council meetings and votes on all agenda items just as a councilor does. The city manager (Nygarrd in Lewiston) is picked by the city council to run the city and holds many of the powers traditionally held by mayors in most Idaho cities.

Nygarrd previously said at a city council work session on the mask-wearing mandate,

I’ve heard from a number of people who think it’s a bad idea. But I’ve also heard from an equal number of people who think it’s past time that we’ve done something in terms of what McCall and Moscow have done, and the state of Washington.

However, sources close to the situation in Lewiston say that there were hundreds of messages to the city council with much of it in opposition to the mandate. This public opposition to the mask-wearing mandate or even advisory order may have been why the council declined to take action.

Councilmember Bob Blakey motioned to vote on the advisory, which had not been made public, did not receive a “second” to the motion which killed the issue for now.

Nygaard says that he is still working on a final version of what the advisory will say and it could be voted on at the next council meeting.

Do you support mandatory mask-wearing mandates? Let us know in the comments below!


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Tags: Bob Blakey, Lewiston, Masks, Nygarrd

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