Decatur still reviewing mask ordinance

The City of Decatur is still reviewing its proposed masked ordinance. Mayor Tab Bowling said, from what he's heard, the ordinance is likely to pass.

Posted: Jul 7, 2020 6:53 PM

Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling said Tuesday he believes the city's mask ordinance will pass, but it's still up in the air as to when or if it'll go into effect.

“Just based on what I’m hearing, there’s probably about a 3-2 vote favoring a mask ordinance,” the mayor told WAAY 31.

The ordinance was put on hold again Monday night after a lengthy work session and city council meeting.

Bowling said that even if it is passed, he'll need time to review it before he can get behind it.

"I would just take some time and listen, read, maybe a few edits, I don't know. We just have to see. I get ten days to look at it."

Bowling said the current state health order leaves local governments without a lot of direction when it comes to masking.

"If the governor would simply add one more sentence to the order about masks, it would make it better for municipalities across the state -- versus one municipality doing something and another one not."

The mayor says he is a supporter of masking, he and his family wear them. Still, as an elected official, he said it's difficult to support a decision that has people divided.

"I hear from those that would like to have facial coverings and have it mandated, but by far the majority is those that don't want it mandated,” he explained.

After Monday's work session, Mayor Bowling said he's heard from even more people who are against the ordinance.

“They're sensing that the council is going to find favor with it,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ve had one inquiry of anyone that’s for it.”

WAAY 31’s called to the city council president along with other members of the city council. None responded to calls for comment.

The next Decatur City Council meeting is scheduled for July 20, the agenda hasn't been released yet.

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