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By Steve Steiner
Executive Editor 

Commissioners OK Mask Resolution, Not Mandate

 

Last updated 7/9/2020 at 6:03pm

In a 5-0 roll call vote, city commissioners approved a resolution urging those living, working or doing business in Bartow to wear a face covering in certain public places in order to slow or stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The vote came at a special session held Wednesday, July 8, following brief discussion and questions posed by commissioners, as well as input from City Attorney Sean Parker and City Manager George Long.

No one from the general public approached to speak, and according to Mayor Scott Sjoblom, only one person weighed in via email, stating support, yet wondered the resolution might be too late in the making.

Among questions posed by Commissioner Billy Simpson was whether an end date should be part of the resolution. In response, Parker suggested that commissioners could revisit the resolution.

"You could always come back and repeal the resolution," said Parker. He added that it could also be possible to return and take a stranger position if necessary.

That found favor with Commissioner Leo Longworth, who stated that while the resolution was a start, he was not opposed to taking stronger measures.

Before calling for the vote, Sjoblom stated he was glad commissioners were taking this action.

"Face covering is as much a benefit for yourself as it is for someone else," he said; Sjoblom is with the Polk County Health Department. He summarized the resolution stating that while commissioners could and can pass resolutions and ordinances regarding COVID-19, "...in the end it comes down to individual responsibility."

Author Bio

Steve Steiner, Executive Editor

Steve came out of a two-year retirement to helm BartowNews.net. Following a career in journalism/advertising/public relations --- at one point being a partner in an advertising/PR agency --- he shifted professions and focused on food service and hospitality before returning to journalism. As a journalist, rose from reporter to sections editor to managing/executive editor with newspapers in North Carolina, Mississippi and Florida. He is enjoying restoring a quality news site for his adopted hometown. Send him your story ideas.

 

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