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Perry City Council To Reconsider Mask Ordinance

Face masks in a box.
Mika Baumeister
Perry City Commissioners passed an ordinance requiring residents to wear face masks inside certain buildings on July 14.

Days after the Perry City Council passed an ordinance requiring masks, officials are giving the new rule a second look. An emergency meeting on the issue is scheduled for Friday morning at 9:30. The focus will be on how the ordinance could impact local schools.

Perry's current mask ordinance mandates residents wear face coverings while in business and lodging establishments. Including places of worship, non-profit, and government buildings. There are several exceptions for young children, people with certain medical conditions, first responders, and more.

"We got to take politics out of this and do the right thing for the people of our community," City Council Member Shirlie Hampton says.

But now, the council will be considering whether to replace its recently passed ordinance with another one that could exempt people in schools from wearing face masks.

Taylor County School teachers might have a mix of physical and digital classes during the fall.

The City used Leon County's mask ordinance as a reference for its own. There are a few changes that set the two apart. In Leon County, a first offense results in a fine of $50. Whereas in Perry, it's a warning. Second offenses in Leon result in a fine of $125, in Perry, it's $25. In Leon, third and further offenses result in fines of $250. In Perry, third-time offenders will face fines of $50, then $100 for any further violations.

The ordinance officially takes effect on July 20, but violators will only receive warnings until July 28. So far, 183 Taylor County residents have tested positive for COVID-19. The City Commission voted 4-1 for a face mask ordinance during its July 14 meeting. Mayor Alan Hall was the only city council member to vote against the measure.

To join the Perry City Council's emergency meeting on Friday, participants can click the following Zoom link. The code to join by Zoom is 5847161. To participate via phone, call (312) 626-6799 and enter code 830 4167 0287. The agenda can be found here.

Robbie Gaffney graduated from Florida State University with degrees in Digital Media Production and Creative Writing. Before working at WFSU, they recorded FSU’s basketball and baseball games for Seminole Productions as well as interned for the PBS Station in Largo, Florida. Robbie loves playing video games such as Shadow of the Colossus, Animal Crossing, and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. Their other hobbies include sleeping and watching anime.