West Plains Mask Ordinance Fails

The controversial ordinance that would have mandated the use of face coverings in the City of West Plains did not pass. At the regular City Council meeting on Monday, August 25, the aldermen did not have the opportunity to vote on the ordinance. Instead, the bill stalled out after the first reading. 
According to the rules of procedure used by many municipal governments, proposed ordinances have to be read as bills before there is a vote on whether to pass the ordinance itself. The mayor must have a motion for the first reading duly passed by the aldermen, and then another motion passed for the second reading. The mask ordinance was read once, but was not read a second time. Without a second reading, there was no vote, which means the ordinance did not become law in West Plains. 
Public opposition to the proposed ordinance was vocal in the week leading up to the City Council meeting. A peaceful demonstration against the ordinance gathered outside City Hall shortly before the meeting began. 
“If you want to wear a mask, wear a mask, but do not force your neighbor to,” said Brian Smolnik, organizer of the demonstration. Smolnik said the demonstrators had very constructive interactions with passersby who expressed interest in their message. 
The failure to pass this ordinance does not prevent the City Council from introducing the bill again in the future, but for now, the use of face coverings remains voluntary in West Plains.
by Amanda Mendez, publisher editor@howellcountynews.com

Howell County News

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