LEWISTON - In a virtual City Council meeting held over Zoom Monday evening, the Lewiston City Council voted to approve a Facemask Advisory for the City of Lewiston by a vote of 5-2. The Advisory passed is NOT a mandate, and will only lay out recommendations to local businesses and citizens on when and where masks should be worn. It does not make wearing a mask a requirement within the City of Lewiston.
Councilman John Bradbury proposed an amendment to the facemask advisory that was on the table to change the wording to 'Mandate' and make wearing a mask a requirement, which was seconded by Bob Blakey. The rest of the council members however met that amendment with opposition, and the amendment was ultimately shot down by a vote of 2-5.
The proposed amendment from Councilman Bradbury would have required individuals and businesses within the City of Lewiston to wear facemasks, and would have induced fines for multiple offenses. The first violation of the mandate would have constituted a warning, the second violation would have resulted in a $100 fine, and the third and any subsequent offense would have been a $250 fine.
Many local residents showed up to the Lewiston City Library and others emailed in their thoughts making their voices heard on the issue. Much like the meeting on July 13 where the advisory was first discussed, opinions on the issue were heard from both sides with the heavy majority of those in attendance being opposed.
Councilman John Pernsteiner referenced the emails he received from the community on the issue, saying he received 184 emails opposing the advisory, and 109 emails in favor.
Cari Miller was in favor of the advisory order, but stated she remains strongly against any sort of mandate or penalties incurred for those who do not wear a mask.
“This order doesn’t preclude any future action made by myself, the City Council, and/or Public Health,” City Manager Alan Nygaard said. “This order emphasizes the seriousness of the issue and clarifies where it is appropriate to wear a mask in the community.”