Push for mask mandate in Fargo fails

FARGO, N.D. – The debate to enact a mask mandate in Fargo is struck down.

City Commissioners voted 3-2 against Commissioner John Strand’s proposal to have the measure’s first reading to be held at a meeting in two weeks. Strand and Commissioner Arlette Preston voted in favor. Mayor Dr. Tim Mahoney and Commissioners Dave Piepkorn and Tony Gehrig voted against it.

The mandate would require people to wear a face covering when they are near people from outside their household where six feet social distancing is not done. Those 10 and under, with a medical condition or disability, working in jobs where distance can’t be maintained would be exempt.

One of the mandates would have had a penalty of $100 for a second violation after a warning for adults only. The other would not have a fine.

“If we have penalties, we have created a bunch of new, very real, unintended consequences. We will greatly increase police contacts with civilians. Some of these interactions will be violent,” Commissioner Tony Gehrig said.

“If our numbers and our trends, the covid infection rates and positivity rates if they continue worsening, in my opinion, it’s best to have tools available to act upon if we’re called to do that at that point in time,” Commissioner John Strand said.

New Police Chief David Zibolski, who dealt with a mask mandate in Wisconsin, said the plan there created hostility and put officers in a precarious position.

Watch the mask mandate starting at the 1:39:35 mark below.

Categories: Coronavirus-ND, Local News, North Dakota News, Politics / Elections