Yesterday, four different mask mandates were voted on.
Idaho Dispatch previously reported that the South Central Public Health District and Panhandle Health District both voted on a mask mandate yesterday. SCPHD voted their mandate down 5-4 and PHD passed their mandate 4-2.
In addition to those two Health Districts voting on mask mandates, both Pocatello and Lewiston also voted on mask mandates.
Pocatello voted 4-2 to pass a mask mandate and Lewiston voted 4-3 to pass a mask mandate.
In Pocatello, approximately 75 people attended a protest prior to the meeting beginning according to several witnesses who spoke with Idaho Dispatch.
The city council members and the mayor were all on Zoom for the meeting. Five citizens were allowed into Pocatello City Hall at a time to testify in favor or against the mask mandate.
Idaho Dispatch has been informed by one person in attendance at the meeting that she believes all people spoke against the mandate.
Under the Pocatello mask mandate, there is a 30-day “grace period” before fines are levied against individuals who are not in compliance with the mandate. After the grace period, then an infraction can be issued which would come with a $50 fine.
The mask mandate will continue until it is canceled but will be revisited once a month to determine if it is still necessary.
Here are the city councilmembers who voted in favor of the mandate: Roger Bray, Linda Leeuwrik, Christine Stevens, and Claudia Ortega
City councilmembers voting against the mask mandate are: Rick Cheatum and Heidi Adamson
The city of Lewiston had testimony and council discussion on a mask mandate for over four hours before finally voting 4-3 in favor of the ordinance.
With Governor Little rolling Idaho back to a modified Stage 2 and limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people, only a couple of citizens were let into the room at a time.
Those who wished to speak had to wait outside where the temperature was in the 30’s. Some of the citizens who spoke voiced frustration over the city council’s decision to move the meeting up a few days and holding the meeting at 3:15 p.m. PST instead of a later time when more people could attend.
In addition to in-person testimony, city councilmembers also read emails of citizens who were both for and against a mask mandate.
Councilmember Bradbury who made the motion to pass the mandate argued that something had to be down to slow the spread and that even if masks are only a little effective that it was better than doing nothing.
Councilmember Pernsteiner brought up several times that the Lewiston Police Chief, Budd Hurd, is opposed to a mandate and had written a letter to the city council telling them he was opposed.
Here are the city councilmembers who voted in favor of the mask mandate: Bob Blakey, Kevin Kelly, Kathy Schroeder, John Bradbury
And here are the city councilmembers who voted against the mask mandate: Mayor Michael Collins, John Pernsteiner, Cari Miller
The ordinance is in effect until January 25th.
For a detailed list of current mask mandates in effect, you can visit our article here.
What do you think of mask mandates? Are they necessary for public safety, a violation of personal rights, or something else entirely? Let us know in the comments below.
Tags: Christine Stevens, Claudia Ortega, Lewiston, Linda Leeuwrik, Mask Mandate, Pocatello, Roger Bray