The Osceola City Council voted unanimously to pass the second reading of the mask/face covering ordinance in the City Code of Ordinance Chapter 41 at the Oct. 6 city council meeting. There was a motion and second to waive the third reading but that motion did not pass with two councilmen voting no.
Prior to the vote Mayor Thomas Kedley spoke to the council about city projects and the Sep. 15 meeting where the first reading of the new ordinance was approved but no councilman moved to wave the second or third reading.
“Council, I will remind you that there are two week breaks in between and there will technically have been five weeks with this reading being out with there being an additional Tuesday,” said Kedley. “Since it does not pass, we will move on again to two more weeks.”
Rules of the ordinance include:
• Inside any publicly owned building, facility, or vehicle
• Any public outdoor venue or event where at least six (6) feet of physical separation from others outside a person’s household cannot be maintained or is impractical
Exemptions are as follows:
The following persons are exempt from wearing a face covering:
• Persons younger than three (3) years of age
• Anyone who has a medical condition causing difficultly of breathing or is on oxygen therapy or a ventilator
• Anyone who has been advised by a medical or behavior health professional not to wear face coverings
• Anyone actively engaged in a public safety role, including but not limited to law enforcement, firefighters, or emergency medical personnel
• Organized youth sports participants
The ordinance only addresses public facilities. It would not be enforceable on private property. It would not apply to a church, but it would apply to a school sporting event. The wording was changed after the first reading at the Sep. 15 council meeting to strike the work “spaces” from the list of places face coverings are required.
“The reason for striking was to exclude parks, trails, sidewalks or anywhere that is not part of an organized gathering,” said City Administrator Ty Wheeler.
There are no penalty fees associated with the ordinance.
Compliance with the ordinance will be strategically obtained through education and encouragement. Anyone who willfully fails to comply will be ordered off any public property.
The ordinance will expire January 1, 2021 unless the date is amended or the ordinance is repealed sooner.