With the only real discussion involving the procedure of adopting the ordinance, the Stillwater City Council unanimously passed the ordinance to extend the expiration date of the citywide mask mandate.
On Monday, the Council passed Ordinance No. 3463 into second reading with a 5-0 vote, and scheduled Thursday’s special meeting. The Ordinance changes the sunset on Ordinance 3452, the original mandate adopted July 9. Without extending it, the order would have expired Nov. 30.
Language in the new ordinance points out that the number of active cases has doubled since Nov. 1, that studies by the Oklahoma State Epidemiologist point to less community spread in places with mask mandates, and that there isn’t yet a vaccine available.
“Whereas, once a vaccine does become available, the CDC and others have indicated the wearing of face coverings will still be necessary for some time until certain immunity levels are established, and … the Governor of the State of Oklahoma has left it to cities to decide what steps are necessary to protect their citizens from the spread of COVID-19,” the ordinance reads. “…the City Council reaffirms its previous finding that the adoption of a face covering mandate is necessary to protect the citizens of Stillwater and that it is advisable to extend that mandate until Feb. 28, 2021.”
Despite pushback, and even a recall petition having been submitted, the City Council has been mostly of the same mindset on the face covering mandates since the summer. The only thing slightly different about Thursday’s meeting, which lasted fewer than 10 minutes, was that it was conducted by Vice Mayor Pat Darlington, as Mayor Will Joyce showed up about three minutes late. It gave Joyce the opportunity to make motions and a chance for levity.
“This is fun,” Joyce said. “I don’t get to do this.”