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Opinion
Palm Coast Monday, Jul. 13, 2020 3 weeks ago

Opposing views on Palm Coast mask mandate: too far vs. not far enough

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Here's what your neighbors are talking about.
by: Guest Writer

City doesn’t trust us to wear masks?

Dear Editor:

At what point did our government and elected officials stop trusting those they govern? In a sense, that is exactly what the Palm Coast city officials decided when they passed a face-covering mandate during the last council meeting.

They trusted us when we voted them into office but now, they do not trust you or me, the governed, to make decisions that impact our own lives and our health.

In effect, the Palm Coast mayor and City Council took matters into their own hands to mandate social interaction regarding the citizens of the city. They passed a resolution mandating the use of face coverings throughout the city of Palm Coast.

Unlike Sheriff Rick Staley, our county commissioners, and our governor who have allowed for the citizenry to determine the best course of action based on medical/federal guidelines, the mayor and City Council have lost trust in the people, and have overstepped their bounds.

They have determined the citizens of this great city cannot be trusted to act in their own best interest and now must be forced to comply with government mandates. If they don’t trust us to make good choices for our own health and our own businesses, will their next step lead to removing our ability to vote because we can be trusted to make good choices in that area as well?

As for me, I have lost trust in our mayor and City Council and will vote in the next election, as long as I still have that right, for candidates that represent we the governed and not their own agendas.

James Bellino

Palm Coast

 

Mask mandate needs enforcement

Dear Editor:

The Palm Coast City Council continues to pussyfoot around with the mask-wearing issue. Months ago, mask-wearing began as a friendly reminder, then evolved to a slightly stronger CDC recommendation, and later just another anemic recommendation that was craftily dressed up as some legal-sounding “Proclamation.”

Then, last week, forced by the surge in virus cases, the council finally came out with the “mandate.” But, it has no teeth, it’s not an enforceable ordinance, it has no sanctions for non-compliance, and as such is not much more than the old friendly recommendations.

And, as to compliance, nothing meaningful is likely to change. We will still have the usual irresponsible recalcitrant residents refusing to play ball and simply thumb their noses at this kind of mandate.

The council’s lack of will and courage to get serious about mask-wearing continues, and, unfortunately, any commitment to enacting a meaningful enforceable ordinance remains elusive.

In the city of Palm Coast you have an ordinance that provides for a citation and fine for not mowing your lawn, but none for putting the health and safety of its residents at risk by not wearing a mask during a pandemic. The absurdity of that is self-evident.

Bob Gordon

Palm Coast

 

County should impose a mask mandate

Dear Editor:

Our governor took a page from the presidential playbook and decided to hand off to local governments the responsibility to adopt measures to ensure the safety for local citizens.

It is now the responsibility of the local government to come up with guidelines and measures to assure social distance is maintained and masks are worn at businesses that are indoors.

A mandate that people wear masks when entering a building would be unenforceable. However, ordinances can be passed that require businesses to make available to patrons masks and refused to serve patrons who refuse to wear except when dining in their small group. The ordinance would impose fines and other punishments for businesses the failed to enforce the wearing of mask. Businesses who already allowed signs that say no shoes, no top, no service the poster can now say no shoes, no top, no mask, no service.

The local government body that should pass this ordinance is the Flagler County Board of County Commissioners. Their action would apply to all locations in Flagler County.

Your right you refuse to wear a mask based on your individual freedom interferes with my right to life. In a hierarchy of rights, my right to life is higher than your right not to wear a mask. So wear the mask.

John Brady

Palm Coast

Editor's Note: Brady is a candidate for Palm Coast mayor.

 

'Mandate' accomplished nothing for Palm Coast

Dear Editor:

As a city, we should not be in the habit of making laws that are not actually laws. The City Council's mask “mandate” is not a “mandate.” There is zero provision for enforcement within the ordinance itself, and all reporting around the ordinance stipulates that the Flagler County Sheriff will not be asked to enforce the ordinance. That leaves it up to the City’s Code Enforcement personnel which, according to City Attorney Bill Reichmann, will not be asked to enforce the ordinance either.

I am confused as to what the mayor and council think they accomplished on July 7. Businesses were already allowed to require masks upon entry if they so chose. Many businesses in Palm Coast have been doing so. Nothing in this resolution changes that mechanism in any real way. 

I personally believe wearing a mask and socially distancing as per CDC guidelines is vitally important in the face of rising numbers of COVID-19 cases around the country and specifically here in Florida. 

The resolution and vote by Milissa Holland and the Palm Coast City Council was a last minute, politically motivated stunt and not the act of a well-functioning government who has any clue as to what they are doing.

Michael Schottey

Palm Coast

Editor's Note: Schottey is a candidate for Palm Coast mayor.

 

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