July 1, 2020 | BY LANA FERGUSON | The Island Packet |
“Hardeeville City Council unanimously voted to reject an emergency ordinance Wednesday afternoon that would have required people wear face coverings. The city is the first in the region to vote down a mask requirement.
Mayor Harry Williams and all four council members shared concerns with passing a law that couldn’t be enforced, saying an “aggressive” educational campaign could be more effective.
While discussing the idea of making masks mandatory, Williams said he was “personally uneasy about the issue of government mandating behavior of its citizens in a democracy.”
The draft ordinance posted online with the meeting agenda was created by the Municipal Association of South Carolina and said masks would be required for patrons at grocery stores and pharmacies as well as employees in a number of public businesses when interacting with customers. It also said violators of the ordinance would be subject to a $50 civil fine.
The idea of making masks mandatory in Hardeeville was the focus of the meeting rather than the ordinance’s details.
Hardeeville Police Chief Sam Woodward, who had a mask with him at Wednesday’s meeting, spoke first. He said that although he wears a mask himself, he did not support a resolution requiring them.
“I just don’t feel like I could enforce it,” he said. “I don’t have the manpower.”
Instead, he said wearing a mask should be up to the individual, and the city should focus on educating the public.
“I think people can use their own God-given common sense to wear [a mask] if they need to,” he said.”
City will not require masks in public
“LANDRUM—The City of Landrum considered an ordinance to require masks in public but the majority of council members were not in favor.” Link