LOGAN – Members of the Logan City Council were denied an opportunity to discuss the hot-button issue of the citywide mask mandate at their regular meeting on Tuesday evening.
Within moments of the opening gavel, council chair Amy Z. Anderson ruled that her fellow council members would not officially discuss Mayor Holly Daines’ executive order of Aug. 1 making the wearing of face coverings mandatory for Logan residents and visitors.
That ruling was seemingly intended to muzzle council member Jess Bradfield, who has made no secret of his opposition to the hasty process that led to the implementation of the mask mandate.
In her regular report to council members, Daines admitted that the state of emergency she declared to make the mask mandate legal will expire in 30 days. The mayor then confirmed that she intends to seek the council’s approval on Aug. 18 to extend both the emergency declaration and the mask mandate until Dec. 31.
Daines added that the council members are not legally required to seek public comment on the mask mandate, but may do so at their discretion. The council members also have the option to deny the requested extension of the mask mandate or to extend it for a shorter period of time, she acknowledged.
The mask mandate has been controversial because Daines provided limited public notice before requesting state authorization to impose the emergency measure. Some residents have also voiced concern that the mayor’s executive order included stipulations that the mask mandate can be enforced either “administratively or criminally … for repeated or egregious violations.”
In her closing remarks, Anderson said that council members had received numerous comments via e-mail from local residents. She said that council members would review those comments and discuss them at their Aug. 18 meeting. She also invited additional comments from interested residents and/or personal contact with council members.
Daines’ executive order applies to any individual over age five who is medically or psychologically able to tolerate a face covering.
The city ordinance stipulates that a face covering that completely covers the nose and mouth must be worn in “public areas where consistent social distancing of at least six feet is not possible, reasonable or prudent.”
With that order, Logan has joined a handful of other local entities in Utah that have made the wearing of face coverings in public mandatory. Those entities are Salt Lake City and three Utah counties: Grand, Salt Lake and Summit.