City Council strikes ‘indefinitely’ from face mask order
Glenwood Springs City Council removed the word “indefinitely” from its face-covering order Thursday in response to councilor concerns and public outcry.
“We want everybody to know we’re on the same side,” Mayor Jonathan Godes said during the council’s regular meeting. “We need to work together to get through this together.”
The council initially added “indefinitely” to the order June 4 rather than extending for a set number of days as it had done twice previously.
At the council’s June 4 meeting, Councilor Charlie Willman voted against the order solely because of the wording, and since then, Godes said the council received several public comments against the order’s indefinite nature.
Instead, City Council will hold a voice vote at every regular meeting until the order is removed. Godes said the voice vote would streamline the extension process by removing the public comment portion of the agenda item at each meeting.
Some residents have been outspoken against the order, adding as much as 30 minutes to previous meetings solely to speak out against face covering requirements.
During the open public comment portion of the council’s meeting on June 18, Colin Wilhelm, the city’s former attorney, spoke in favor of the city’s efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19.
“Wearing masks is by far the least intrusive way to help protect the public in general from the spreading of coronavirus,” Wilhelm said. “From the legal standpoint, the constitutionality of it is there in the sense a Supreme Court decision would look at whether there is a necessary public interest, which there is.”
The council voted unanimously to remove the word “indefinitely” from the face covering order and vote on an extension by voice at each following regular meeting until no longer needed.
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