In a special meeting called this afternoon, the Board of Sedgwick County Commissioners voted not to mandate enforcement of Gov. Kelly’s mandatory mask order, but to instead “strongly recommend” that people and businesses in Sedgwick County follow the requirements of her order issued officially today.
The commissioners expressed concerns with the lack of clarity of some of the requirements of the bill as well as concerns with enforcement.
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“This is something that should be taken seriously,” said Commission chair Pete Meitzner, who introduced the motion, but not serious enough to make the governor’s order mandatory in Sedgwick County.
Commissioner Jim Howell, suggested that the board slow down and take a long term look at the issue of requiring individuals to wear mask. “If we issue a new order we need to understand that it’s going to be with us until we have a vaccine,” said Howell. “We got this order only today and it has some problems, but for us to implement this quickly is not fair to our people.
Howell suggested taking more time to review the governor’s order, and come back next week with specific recommendations that might address some of the commissioner’s concerns with the ordinance.
Meitzner disagreed and moved forward with his motion and said he would only readdress the issue if he saw an uptick in the county’s COVID-19 numbers.
Commissioners Howell and Cruz voted against the motion. Commissioners Meitzner, Dennis and O’Donnell voted in favor of the motion.